At Casa Sauza, we care about producing the best quality agave, so we took the challenge of getting the ISO 9001 quality management international certification, a challenge that we achieved in 2017 thanks to the effort of all of our staff, from the field laborer to the director of operations.
This achievement means a lot to our agave production area, since according to our production processes of the agave, it is key to carry them out with the best quality possible. In this blog, I will describe a summary of each of these processes in order to better understand all that this process implies, as well as the importance of doing it well from the very beginning, in order to have an excellent crop.
Process of Agave Cultivation:
- Choosing the right field. We look for quality starting with the selection of the lands where the cultivation of our agave will take place. In order to achieve this goal, we rely on format that is key to us: a reference survey for the selection of land, which assesses the different standards that must be met. Only those lands that score 55 points or more on this evaluation are accepted.
- Preparation of the field. In this step, we look for quality in the preparation of the selected lands, which is done with heavy machinery. Afterwards, a cross-track is made. It is worth mentioning that the records of these activities are kept within the defined ISO formats.
- Planting the agave. It is key that the 2 previous steps (choosing the land and preparing it) have been carried out with the best quality possible and in accordance of the stablished standards so the development of the plant gets off on the right foot. Before the actual planting takes place, some other previous steps related to the plant are taken:
- The planting process starts with the plucking of a plant's shoot from the plantations of less than -or equal to- 4 years of age. Before the plucking, we first verify that all the premises have less than a 5% of disease. During this step, we also verify that the plant complies with the standard stablished size and that it does not suffer from pests or diseases.
- Once this plucking is done, we proceed to send this shoot from our "mother garden" to a collection center, at where it is all once again selected and then classified according to its size and health.
- Afterwards, this chosen, assessed and classified shoots are taken to the already prepared land for their plantation.
Before the actual plantation of the agave takes place, we confirm that the agave complies with the traceability requirements and it is all recorded in an specific format. A plantation trace is also made. The trailers are then loaded with the shoots for their correct distribution on the land and finally, they are planted. Once the agaves are planted, their traceability is recorded on the corresponding ISO formats. Finally, the person in charge of inventories is informed so that he can carry them out.
If you would like to know the following steps for the cultivation of agave, wait for my next blog post, in which I will talk about it all in more detail.
You can also come to our production plant yourself and take one of our guided tours so you get to know all about the tequila production process. We are glad to share our experience with you!