Graciela Angeles CarreñoDIRECTOR GENERAL, MEZCAL REAL MINERO
Graciela Angeles Carreño represents the fourth generation of traditional mezcal producers in Santa Catarina Minas, Oaxaca. As the Director General of Mezcal Real Minero, she is responsible for and directly involved in all aspects of production and business of her family’s mezcal. She is a sociologist by training, holding a masters with a focus on Regional and Rural Development.
Graciela was born into mezcal: it has always been the lens through which she sees the world, and her greatest passion. She is also one of very few women in her community who had the opportunity to pursue higher education. This combination of traditional and academic background is what makes her voice totally unique in the world of mezcal. Her academic training led her to cast her vision back to the maguey fields where she grew up. Things as everyday and familiar as the smell of cooked maguey were made extraordinary, and she began to see and think about mezcal in a totally different way.
To this day, Garciela is one of very few women who are involved with every phase of mezcal production and in a position of authority. She believes it is her resonsibility to blaze a trail for the next generation of mezcalilleras, or women of mezcal. While she acknowledges the challenges involved in being a modern woman in a previously male-dominated industry, she is quick to explain that in her community, women have always played a fundamental role in the sale and distribution of mezcal, including during times of prohibition.
Graciela is bringing not only Real Minero, but mezcal as a category into the modern era in ways unimaginable to her parents. She has lectured worldwide; from all over the United States and Mexico to Istanbul and Madrid. She emphasizes that everything she does is in collaboration with her parents and sisters. She is also the proud mother of two beautiful children.