Tequila Distillery Trip March 2019

Life in Mexico, even after over 14-1/2 years, is always a wonder. From the beautiful scenery, to the amazing weather, to the close-knit circle of friends, one could not ask for more.

I didn’t take pictures of the agave being harvested, but of the central part of the agave without the spiky leaves, the pineapple, that was already cut and ready to cook in the ovens. There is a “before” and “after” picture, so you can see how they turn brown in the ovens. We had the opportunity to taste the sweetness of the cooked agave.

Pineapples Ready to Cook

Today, we went with our Tequila Club (yes, there is such a thing here) to visit the El Cascahuin (pronounced cascayeen) distillery in El Aranal, not far from the town of Tequila in Jalisco. The hour and a half drive from Ajijic by bus gave us the opportunity to see the small farms dotted in the countryside. There were agave plants in various stages of growth, from tiny baby plants to those just harvested. You will see from the pictures, how tequila is made, from start to finish.

After the pineapples are cooked, they are put on a conveyer belt and pulverized into fibers. There are three ways to do this… by machine, by a stone and by hand. Once through the machine, the fibers are then re-entered into the machine to be washed.

They go through a number of processes, from fermentation to distillation and finally to aging. Whether the tequila is a blanco, reposada, anejo or super anejo, depends on the amount of time in the barrel. The oak barrels keep the liquid for a few days to up to 8 years.

Afterward, we had a tasting of the three types of tequilas, plus a tasting of two types of artisanal tequilas they also make. We usually like the reposada or anejo taste, while many are blanco fans. We find that the blancos have too much of a bite for our taste. However, lately, I have been sipping a yummy reposada in the evenings before dinner from a previous presentation by another distillery, Cobalto.

Ready to Cook
After Cooking

Many of these distilleries do not distribute to the US. They send their best to European countries, Japan or elsewhere. Many do not even sell in Mexico! Fortunately, when they come to our Tequila Club, they bring cases of tequila and we are able to sample and buy the bottles right here.

Crushing Wheel
Fermentation Vat
Distillation
Aging Barrels
Artisenal Oven
Hand Crushing
Shop after the Tour