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A mezcal bar in Oaxaca city. A mezcal bar in Oaxaca city.

Oaxaca wins a round in mezcal denomination of origin challenge

Aguascalientes removed from list that was expanded in August

Oaxaca won a round this week in its efforts to limit the denomination of origin for mezcal, the state’s staple spirit.

The state Economy Secretariat said yesterday that a federal judge had ordered the suspension of an expansion of the beverage’s denomination of origin that included several municipalities in the state of Aguascalientes.

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) decided in August to expand mezcal’s denomination of origin region to include municipalities in the states of Aguascalientes, México, Morelos and Puebla. Oaxaca announced a week later it would fight the move.

Aguascalientes is now off the list and the issue of the remaining three states is still being considered by the judge, said the government of Oaxaca in a statement.

The state continues to work to “strengthen the commercialization of the Oaxacan beverage” in domestic and international events, “because mezcal is an ancestral state beverage.”

Despite that claim, regions of eight other states — Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas — are included in the current denomination of origin, meaning that the nine states can produce and sell the distilled maguey beverage and call it mezcal.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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