Instagram: @mezcalorigenraiz, @asiscortestepeztate
Rancho El Ojo is a pristine ranch in Durango and the birthplace of Origen Raíz. The ranch lies just outside the Sierra de Organos National Park at an elevation of approximately 6,350 feet. It is owned by the Saravia family, who act as stewards of the land to conserve the balance and rejuvenate the health of the grassland ecosystem. With an abundance of agave and dasylirion, this certified wildlife preserve also presented a wonderful opportunity to make sustainable mezcals and sotols.
Don Valentín Cortés, with his knowledge of traditional mezcal from Oaxaca, joined the Saravia family to build Viñata El Ojo. The two families now produce mezcal and sotol with much love and respect for their culture and heritage. Origen Raíz is the Cortés family’s first mezcal produced outside their home state of Oaxaca. You might be familiar with their other mezcals: El Jolgorio, Nuestra Soledad, and Agave de Cortés.
Sustainability: Rancho El Ojo is a pristine ecosystem in which they are harvesting 1% of the agave. Let’s do the math! 10% of all the agave on the land will go into maturity each year. From that 10%, 90% are left to complete sexual reproduction and spread their seeds to produce more wild agave (or 9% of the 10%). So that leaves 10% of mature agave to harvest, which equals 1% of all the agave used for mezcal.