The Sierra Norte Mountains of Oaxaca Mexico, with their profuse flora, abundant wildlife and crystal clear flowing waters, support some of the worlds most treasured biodiversity. More than any other crop, corn embodies the life-giving relationship between these ancient mountains and their inhabitants. Descendants of the region’s first farmers continue to grow native varieties of corn, carefully saving and replanting the seeds from each harvest, as they and their ancestors have done for over 7000 years.
Heirloom Corn : Oaxaca is the origin/birthplace of corn in the world . It is over 7,000 yrs ago. It is called Maiz Criollo in Oaxaca.
This corn grows in many colors, including white, yellow and black. They are working on reviving the red and green, etc. from extinction. The growers are single village, subsistence level small family farmers that are preserving the tradition and the culture of the criollo corn in Oaxaca that has been passed down from generation to generation for over 7000 years.
The criollo corn only yields 1/2 to 1/3 the poundage per acre that the GMO corn yields. The distillery abides by Fair trade practices and pays 2 to 3 times the market price of GMO corn for the Criollo corn. This way the traditional farmers can earn a fair wage, ie as much money as the GMO farmers and the imported corn suppliers. The distillery also committs to long term purchasing plans at fair trade prices so that the farmers have economic security and don’t have to migrate to the USA for jobs
The Sierra Norte Distillery
Sierra Norte Distillery started with Master Distiller Douglas French’s (who has been hand crafting fine spirits the old fashion way for over 20 years) passion to use different varieties of this ancient, flavorful Oaxacan corn to make a series of unique outstanding whiskies. Each variety is distilled separately and matured in French Oak casks, so as to showcase its individual character and nuance. The distillery is committed to the Mission of preservation of Heirloom Corns, fair trade in commerce and delivering a superior quality ( delicious) product to their customers.
Sierra Norte™ Whiskey
The Sierra Norte Whiskey’s mash is made with a pure grain 85% Corn Criollo and 15% malted Barley. The mash is then double distilling in Pot stills where the refined is done in copper stills
All the Sierra Norte Whiskey is matured in French OAK Barrels. It is single barrel bottling for maximum appreciation of all the wonderful and magical different nuances that happen in the different barrels. Barrel aging is an art not a science.