Tucson, AZ--- The City of Tucson was named America’s City of Century Plants during the 2022 Agave Heritage Festival, a uniquely southwestern event that embodies and celebrates all things agave. Since its beginning 15 years ago, the festival has evolved from a one-night agave spirit showcase to a full-fledged four-day festival devoted to agave education, sustainability, culture, and agriculture with events, tastings, dinners, classes, and expos. The Agave Heritage Festival is both a celebration of the agave and an acknowledgment of Tucson's rich cultural history and the traditions that unite the people of the Southwest. This year’s event will take place on April 27-30 at a variety of locations downtown and throughout the community.
The 2023 festival continues to impact the community by showcasing the region’s commitment to climate smart commodities with an Agave Renaissance Summit as well as solidifying Tucson’s designation as an UNESCO City of Gastronomy with over 20 exciting food and beverage collaborations. Building from the foundation of agave spirit appreciation, the festival’s expanded focus is to educate the consumer and community on why enjoying agave spirits from quality producers is the key to the agave plant’s future survival. A new event scheduled as part of this year’s festival, the Agave Renaissance Expo – The Spirit of Sonora, will immerse industry experts and the public into the amazing world of agave and the literal fibers that bind us together in our region.
The Agave Heritage Festival has curated a collection of events fit for agave aficionados of all kinds. While some events are free, some ticketed events will sell out fast. Additional events will continue to be added leading up to the festival. For up-to-date information, pricing and to purchase tickets visit the website at agaveheritagefestival.com. Social media updates at @agaveheritagefestival #agaveheritagefestival
2023 AGAVE HERITAGE FESTIVAL SIGNATURE EVENTS
Agave Fiesta | April 29 | 7- 10pm | Hotel Congress, 311 E Congress
This keynote event showcases all things agave, presenting over 50 artisanal and ancestral agave spirits by industry experts, an agave cocktail showcase, live music, amazing food, spirits tastings, agave art, and other agave related products. Price includes 4 agave spirit tastes, 2 beers, 3 cocktails and food paired and created by the Cup Café culinary team.
Agave Heritage Dinner | April 27 | 6-9pm | Maynard’s Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Avenue
A veritable feast for the palate and the senses, the multi-course meal features delectable mezcal and sotol cocktails and neat pour tastes from Montelobos and Noche Luna to capture the true essence of how to pair agave spirits and food. Each attendee will also receive an authentic hand crafted Jicara – a mezcal drinking vessel made from the gourd of the calabash fruit, and hand crafted by artisans in Oaxaca, MX.
MezCrawl | April 27 | 5pm-close | Downtown Tucson
Agave spirit enthusiasts at each participating Downtown Tucson bar will create a cocktail for you with one common ingredient – Mezcal! Ticket holders get the chance to sip up to 10 mezcal cocktail samples, enjoy light bites at select locations, receive a complimentary cupita, enjoy a mezcal toast as well as mix and mingle with international mixologists.
Mission Garden Roasting Pit Preparation & Opening | Invite Only
Learn about the centuries-old agave roasting technique for food and beverages while exploring Mission Garden, Tucson’s Birthplace. Emily Rockey, Garden Supervisor with Maegan Lopez, Cultural Outreach Specialist and friends will offer a hands-on demonstration of preparing the agave piñas and pit roasting. Learn about the ancient Hohokam agave cultivation techniques and uses, and learn how agave fiber was used for ropes, shoes, clothes, and many other aspects of the agave plant.
Agave Renaissance Expo – The Spirit of Sonora
In conjunction with the State of Sonora Mexico, the Agave Heritage Festival will pair cultural awareness and economic development by collaborating on their first-ever Spirit of Sonora Expo. This bi-national showcase is a multifaceted dual exposition bringing together agave enthusiasts, scientists, academics, and industry experts to network, collaborate, and create economic development opportunities for artisanal Bacanora and Sotol producers. This event provides a commercial opportunity for business-to-business and business-to consumer networking and collaboration around product innovation and technology that highlights the diverse and unique products created from agave. Attendees can see the variety of products produced from beverages (both fermented/probiotic and distilled) to food, fiber, and textiles.
Pop-up Bars (new this year!)
April 27, 9-11pm –Free event Presented by Neta Spirits and Clavel Mezcaleria – Taqueria from Baltimore, Maryland. Additional Pop-up bars to be announced.
Sponsors to Date
The Agave Heritage Foundation is pleased to welcome the following sponsors: Visit Tucson, Rio Nuevo, Structurall, Hotel Congress, State of Sonora, Sysco Food Service, Beach Fleischmann, Parch Beverage, Integrated Axis, Montelobos Mezcal, Noche Luna Soto, National Bank, Estrella Jalisco, Mezcal Vago, EsFuerzo Mezcal, Mezcal Union, Bahnez Mezcal, La Luna Mezcal, Mezcal Origen Raiz, LaMata, and Mission Linen.
Presenters to Date
Each year the Agave Heritage Festival attracts world -class experts and brand ambassadors who participate in various events throughout the 3-day weekend. Confirmed to date they include David Suro of Suro International Imports, Dr. Ivan Saldana of Noche Luna Sotol, Ricardo Pico of Noche Luna, Asis Cortes owner Origin Raiz, Tony Abou Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, Luis Loya with Lamata, Pedro Jimenez owner Mescaleria Pare de Sufrir and Mezonte, Ricardo Pico of Solteros & Noche Luna, Diana Pinzon, Founder of Zincantan Mezcal.
ABOUT THE AGAVE HERITAGE FESTIVAL
The mission of the Agave Heritage Festival is to create an opportunity to all who are interested in continuing to explore and celebrate the cultural, sustainable, and commercial significance of the agave across borders. Founded in 2008, the festival has become a city-wide, destination event that spotlights the southwest region through the lens of the agave plant. Agave Heritage Festival celebrates the unique importance and sustainability of the agave plant and borderlands culture with seminars, tasting events and world-class culinary events. For the complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit agaveheritagefestival.com. @agaveheritagefestival #agaveheritagefestival