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Five minutes with Andrew Maidment, Zacal

Published:  30 April, 2024

Andrew Catchpole catches up with an ex-Wines of Argentina marketing director now launching his own mezcal to the UK, Zacal

My main day job is running a company that supplies super yachts – basically everything consumable, from the flower arrangements and cutlery to wagyu beef and Champagne, and everything in between. But the most interesting part is the wines and spirits. The mezcal is a project with some of my best friends from university, along with third-generation mezcalero, Milton Ochoa. Basically the group absolutely loved tequila and mezcal and we’d been looking at the market for some time – agave spirits are the fastest-growing category.

I always felt like I had a drink in me, but it had to be one where we could see there is a market, at the beginning of the movement, and that’s where we are with mezcal. There’s a lot of work to be done building it.

We went on a trip to the regions, meeting producers. Most of production is centred in Oaxaca, but we didn’t want to jump on that bandwagon, and when we got to Michoacán, where we met Milton, we realised that was our place. Milton drove us into the mountains to see his farm, some of the ancestral varieties, and we realised we had this same crazy spirit, so we thought ‘OK’.

We then had to find a branding agency and producers for various elements like the artisanal bottles, labels, having done a pre-seed funding round. We’re now getting the first batch to market, focusing first on the UK, and only bringing over 700 bottles. We need to get to that point where we have a brand that people are looking for, then it becomes a different discussion.