I already knew that a lot of winemakers drink tequila and mezcal on their down time but I didn’t know that they’d go so far as to start making it. Or at least one of them, Richard Betts, is taking that step. Betts is the winemaker for Betts & Scholl, whose most high-profile wine is The Chronique—a Grenache that’s an ode to Doctor Dre's multi-platinum CD The Chronic, with fans that include everyone from the rapper Nelly to actor Robert De Niro to high rollers at Goldman Sachs (and yes, Dr. Dre, too). Now Betts, who's also the sommelier at Aspen's super deluxe Little Nell where he runs into a lot of those people, and his business partner Dennis Scholl are going into the mezcal business with plans to make the agave-based spirit as smooth—or smoother—than tequila. Why mezcal? Besides the fact that he drinks it, Betts thinks it's the next big spirit trend. There's no definite launch date, or even a name, yet but Betts is planning to introduce his mezcal at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June. Look out town.
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