Cañada de la Virgen: A Ranch in San Miguel de Allende Producing Mezcal and Gourmet Organic Meat

515

San Miguel de Allende has always been an unmissable destination, but if you’re a fan of mezcal, organic food, and good snacks, here’s some information for you.

After being born in New York and growing up in Argentina, Sophia Trapp came to Mexico to continue a long family tradition and become the third generation of female ranchers. With experience in business and ecosystem restoration projects in Europe, Asia, and America, she created the market for grass-fed organic beef in Mexico and developed a mineral powder that has eliminated the need for antiparasitics in cattle.

La Cañada de la Virgen

One of the oldest ranches in Guanajuato, which has belonged to Sophia’s family since 1999, started with a vision completely focused on the environment, with the main goal remaining focused on the protection and preservation of the land.

Over the years, under Sophia’s management, it became a regenerative ranch where around 800 cattle roam free across hectares of meadow. Additionally, it is a space rich in agave, which allowed Sophia to use it to feed the cattle.

Moreover, today no dewormers, antibiotics, fertilizers, or herbicides are used in any of the spaces that function for agricultural practices. Thanks to this, Cañada de la Virgen has been continuously certified as an organic ranch since 2009.

In addition, its Grass Fed breeding model has a cycle in which cows live outdoors in the meadows, which also contributes to the regeneration of the space, the accumulation of organic matter, and the control of carbon levels, helping to combat global warming.

Finally, La Factoría, a dairy production project, stands out for its focus on soil regeneration, the well-being of its animals, and the production of nutritious foods with minimal carbon output, resulting in two of its products being awarded by the Viva El Queso Festival 2023.

Agave is Not Just for Fermentation

Agaves are a species of plant that plays an extremely important role in water capture and forest reactivation, and the leaves can be used for the production of agave silage, the food used for the cattle of La Cañada de la Virgen.

Each agave contains about a ton of biomass, of which 70% is water. When processed, it becomes a moist and fermented food.

Additionally, agave has the capacity to capture up to 95 tons of carbon per hectare over a period of 10 years, although its management must be appropriate to not release it back into the environment.

Thanks to all the work done with agave in this space, the time inevitably came to start producing mezcal. Thus, Casa Agave launched its first distillate: Atzin. However, since Cañada de la Virgen is not within the zone that can use the denomination of origin to call its distillate mezcal or tequila, this bottle ends up being an uncertified “agave distillate,” but this is not a bad thing.

Thanks to the participation of Germán González Gorrochotegui, one of the world’s best tequila and mezcal masters, there is constant supervision of the distillate production according to the Guanajuato method, resulting in an exquisite drink.

And as if that were not enough, they also have another distillate named Mezcale de Campo, which won two awards from the American Distilling Institute: the Double Gold Medal and Best of Category – Distillates.

Circular and Regenerative

The way this nature reserve continues to operate over time is by focusing on taking every opportunity to reduce or capture carbon, reforest the area, and use the same resources it produces to help make it self-sustainable. And thanks to regenerative farming, La Factoría (IG: @lacteoslafactoria) was launched, which uses genetic analysis to select its cows to ensure that the milk contains A2 casein (known to reduce symptoms related to lactose intolerance).

Source: Mas por Mas