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  1. Agave Renaissance Hotel Congress Agave Heritage Festival

    Agave Renaissance

    Agave Renaissance Lecture & Tasting Series

    Agave has been a mainstay of culture in the Americas for millenia: food, drink, tool, spirit, utilitarian, sacred. Adaptations to aridity represented by both agave and people hold critical insights into how to live in the desert. This lecture series looks closely at these adaptations and the reciprocal relationship between this desert plant and people. Through presentations, roundtable discussions, tastings, and art we will collectively reconnect to the importance of agave, how this relationship in threatened by climate change and our actions, and also how a resilient future is embedded in the heart of a plant.


    Tasting #3 – Local Agave Sprits and Tradition

    March 11

    The use of agave by people is an unbroken string that stretches for millennia. Multiple cultures and multiple lifeways have evolved wherever agave occurs, and in many places where it was introduced by people due to its utility. The use of agave takes a myriad of forms that both remain consistent from region to region but also have an infinite variety that reflect culture and ingenuity. We will gain insight into these traditions of use in our region by Native Nations and regional producers.

    Featuring: Paco Cantu, El Crisol 

    Agave Spirits:

    Spirits available on the Hotel Congress Bottle Shop


    Tasting #4 – Reviving the Heartland

    April 15

    Millions of acres of monoculture Agave Tequiliana. A worm in a bottle. $15 for a liter of tequila or mezcal. Domesticated agave long abandoned in what was once a thriving field. These are the hallmarks of a story gone awry. In recent centuries, the cohesive and reciprocal nature of the human-agave relationship began to slip. Fields once tended for generations were left isolated as Native peoples were killed, physically relocated, or otherwise disenfranchised. A shift in distillate production that increased quantity and profits created a rift from small-scale artisanal models to mass production, diffused, and artificially flavored tequila products based on a house of cards of inbred monocultures. Yet, the heartbeat of the symbiotic relationship ticks loud and has thousands of champions and masses of supporters. Learn how the choices made by each of us can and will shape the future of agave culture in a way that honors the diversity that makes it great.

    Featuring:
    Zulema Arias, Manager Mezonte
    Pedro JimĂ©nez, Director and CEO Mezonte

    Agave Spirits:

    Spirits available on the Hotel Congress Bottle Shop


    Tasting #5 – Bacanora and Restoration Efforts

    May 13

    We need models that illustrate how humans and nature can coexist. Agave is that model. These are remarkable arid-adapted plants that provide tools and sustenance to both people and their pollinators. Yet they also work in concert with humans and have done so for millennia. Carefully selected, they diversify in step with the uses people ascribe to them and thrive when cared for. The answers to how to create restorative economies, sustainable foodways, and bioculturally diverse habitats and communities are all embedded in this relationship between people and plant. This is a story that has been written on the landscape from the heart of the Sierra Madre to the Grand Canyon by those who inhabited these lands before us. Now it is ours to continue and make our future.

    Featuring:

    Roberto Contreras, Rancho TepĂșa

    Agave Spirits:

    Spirits available on the Hotel Congress Bottle Shop