THE REGION

Sierra Norte Lachirioag

San Cristobal Lachirioag is situated in the Sierra Norte, about 150 km northeast of Oaxaca City.  There are a number of confusing and conflicting names that have been assigned to the area and its subareas. When the Spanish arrived, they called it the Provincia Zapoteca y Chinanteca and Provincia Mije, soon after they founded the village of Villa Alta and it became known as such. Many scholars and travelers since have given the region different names, thereby creating confusion. The Sierra Norte is part of the Sierra Madre Oriental and in Oaxaca is referred to as the Sierra Juarez, after Benito Juarez the first indigenous president of Mexico who was from the region. It is called Sierra Norte because it is situated north of the Valley of Oaxaca, specifically Tlacolula. These mountains rise up like a wall from the relatively flat valley and eventually drop down into the lowlands of Veracruz. The highest point in this rugged region is Zempoaltepetl which reaches 3395 m above sea level.

Every person that has ever been in the Sierra Norte will assent to the descriptions that were given by the chronicler José Antonio Gay:

 

...laderas cortadas por precipicios, rodeando inaccesibles peñascos y cruzando con frecuencia bosques humedecidos continuamente por el rocío y la lluvia. En estas montañas, las sendas son estrechas y el paso se ve impedido muchas veces por obstáculos que de ningún modo pueden franquear las caballerías (Gay 1990:136:Ch 10.12) ...las dificultades que a cada paso les oponía la naturaleza, atravesando ciénegas y caudalosos ríos en la llanura, y franqueando barrancos y cimas fortificadas en la serranía (Gay 1990:149-150:Ch 11.6)

The topography of the region creates the extreme ecological diversity and makes every description only partly fitting. At the higher altitudes rain, fog and cold are almost always present while at the lower altitudes the sun shines bright and an almost subtropical climate exists. These differences in altitude are an important aspect of the Zapotec and Mixe region. Most villages have three different ecological zones within their boundaries, giving them the opportunity to cultivate many different crops. The majority of the biodiversity thrives in the bottom two thirds, where Mezcal Tosba is housed and manages their land with agave plantings, tropical fruits, sugar cane, and coffee.

We create Mezcal Tosba  by using traditional, and what is now called sustainable, agricultural methods of harvesting and distillation passed down by generations of farmers and mezcaleros from the region.

Mezcal Tosba maintains high standards of quality combined with passion, pride, attention to detail in our care for the land and the use of the finest ingredients to create a unique, elegant and exceptional beverage.

The agaves used for Mezcal Tosba production grow among coffee, mango, wild fruit trees and sugar cane.  The water is pure and clear and comes from natural springs flowing from the mountains. The rich soil, varied growing altitudes, and pure mountain water are the basis of the fine and exquisite flavor of Tosba Mezcal.

Mezcal Tosba is certified by COMERCAM, the Mexican Council for the regulation of quality Mezcal. NOM-070-SCFI-1994, Alcoholic –Beverages-Mezcal-Specifications.