Tepanal Ancestral Agave Spirits - The brand "Tepanal" comes from the Nahuatl word "Tepanaltepec," which means "hill of honeycombs," which was the name for Santa Maria Sola from the time of the Spanish conquest until 1915. Tepanal pays homage to the community and its history, where honey extraction was an important activity that the residents of Tepanaltepec implemented.
The Sierra Sur region of Oaxaca made up of the districts of Putla, Yautepec, Miahuatlán, and Sola de Vega is known for producing authentic Tobala mezcal using clay pots. Santa Maria Sola and other regional municipalities, communities, and agencies specialize in planting, harvesting, and distilling agaves. Santa Maria Sola is a small town with many customs and a diverse landscape that includes hills and ravines, providing the area with spring water from the Atotonilco stream.
Rafael "Rafa" Garcia Aragon is the first-generation master distiller of his family who has dedicated his life to producing mezcal. Rafa assisted his father, Lorenzo Garcia, from a young age, in the family's farm work and distillery. Rafa emigrated to California but returned to Santa Maria Sola in 2008 and established his distillery, Palenque Escondido, in 2014. Rafa's son, Jair Garcia, also became involved in the mezcal-making process, and, in 2019, at the age of 21, Jair immigrated to California to raise funds to start their mezcal brand. Along with Antonio Avendaño, they established Tepanal on May 21, 2020.