Moët Hennessey Tequila is the first to use Champagne yeastBy Sarah Neish
Volcan de mi Tierra Tequila has become the first Tequila brand to use Champagne yeast in its fermentation.
There are many potential benefits for fledging brands partnering up with industry giants. Greater distribution channels, unrivalled exposure, consumer confidence heft. But when the teammate in question is luxury goods group Moët Hennessey, which happens to produce some very fine Champagne indeed, why not also take the opportunity to hit them up for some of its finest ingredients?
That’s what Mexican brand Volcan de mi Tierra Tequila did when the company made the pioneering decision to use Champagne yeast in its fermentation process, an ingredient hitherto unheard of in Tequila production.
“We use Champagne yeast to ferment one of our blanco Tequilas,” Santiago Cortida Gallardo, chief operating officer of Volcan de mi Tierra Tequila, told db. “We decided after many trials to use Champagne yeast because of the aromas and flavours (pineapple, apple, caramel, citrus) and softer finish it gives the liquid. We are the only Tequila brand to do this.”
After milling the cooked agave, the Champagne yeast is added to the mosto (the agave juice by product), which then goes into stainless steel tanks to improve alcohol content in the fermentation process.
Did Moët Hennessey supply the yeast from one of its Champagne brands, which include Moët & Chandon, Krug and Veuve Clicquot? Not quite.
“We source our Champagne yeast from Lallemand, a global network of yeast and bacteria production plants that was originally presented to us by Moët Hennessy,” says Cortida Gallardo.
Bread yeast is the most commonly used type of yeast in Tequila brands, but Cortida Gallardo and his team found that Champagne yeast elevated the final result to something special.
“It adds more viscosity to the final liquid,” explains Cortido Gallardo, who also told db that the brand uses rum yeast in another of its blanco spirits, which offers aromas and flavours of jasmine, rose, sunflower and acidic citrus when combined with mosto.
Volcan and Moët Hennessey first teamed up in 2017, but brought their debut product to market last month; two handcrafted Tequilas, a fresh, clean white Blanco, bursting with minerality, and Cristalino, a sweet, aged añejo, finished in whisky barrels.