Tequila and Mezcal Professor
Dr. Ana Valenzuela Zapata is a Mexican scientist (bio-engineer) who has been living in Europe since 2008.
Recognized in Mexico as an authority in agave taxonomy and agronomist, she is a lead researcher, consultant, and author and was the first author in 1994, to publish a book on blue agave and tequila in Mexico.
While she has taught in Mexico as encharged of R&D in the tequila industry (Tequila Herradura and Tequila Sauza companies) coordinated R & D research for agave plantations management and quality systems. After that she decided to follow an Academia career as a Professor at the University of Guadalajara (1992-2012) and the Monterrey Institute of Higher Education, she has done research in Geographical Indications and given courses and modules on tequila and mezcal and their uses in Europe, particularly Belgium and France and has an extensive network of professionals interested in tequila and mezcal activities and learning.
Her studies not only include a Masters in Science in Agriculture, an MBA in International Trade Business Administration but also a Doctorate in Biological Sciences. Since 2004 while completing her doctoral studies, she had conducted research in the alcohol industries, sustainability, and denominations of origin in Europe.
Most recently, she has studied Sciences for the Development of Medicines at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, planning new research in agave plants for health therapies.
In 2008 she was a Postdoctoral fellow in biodiversity and Geographical Indication studies at the University of Ghent in the Tropical agricultural department comparing biodiversity conservation in Latin America and Europe.
Since 1984 after her initial studies were conducted on the botany of mezcal agave species in Jalisco and Oaxaca, she has continued to engage in diverse projects and activities. She has 5 books about tequila and mezcal and available scientific papers and essays in Academia and Researchgate platforms.
Between 2012 to 2014 she was invited to work on a project dealing with Asian distillation between Mexico and parts of Asia at the University of Charité in Berlin as a Guest Professor and Adjunct Faculty Member. Writing another chapter in her research career about the Asiatic distillation in México and Asia working with historians like Dr. Paul Buell, Dr. Hyunhee Park, and Hist. Paz Solano.
She has received two important awards because of her research in tequila and mezcal. One from the University of Arizona in 2017 for the Binational research collaboration "Dr. Howard Scott Gentry", another by Ecology governmental authorities (SEMARNAT) in México) in 2007 for her contribution to genetic resources in Agave tequilana studies and conservation.
She is a consultant in Agave Spirits' business strategy, quality evaluation, International taster, speaker, blogger, and content creator for educational programs.