13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
A mezcalero harvests an espadin, the most cultivated species of agave in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico -- prized for its high sugar content and large size, ultimately resulting in a higher yield of spirits trickling from the still. It is also widely used as a result of its relatively rapid growth rate -- still, it takes anywhere between seven, and in the case of some of the agaves on this hillside, up to sixteen years to reach maturation.
© Eric Burg.
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||Aug. 12, 2015, 10:05 p.m.