The Tequila Route in Mexico offers visitors a fun cultural and historical experience. (Photo via iStock / GettyImages / Tinpixels).
The road that leads to the mythical land of Tequila begins in the magnificent city of Guadalajara in the Jalisco state of western Mexico. From there, travelers can take a train via an exclusive route to the village that produces the most iconic drink in the country and has been its ambassador throughout the world.
Aboard the Jose Cuervo Express, passengers can admire the extensive agave crops that paint the countryside blue. This plant is the raw material for the production of tequila, a product that is a huge part of Mexico’s cultural heritage and that, throughout history, has been positioned among the favorite drinks worldwide.
Although Tequila is the name of the population where this great contribution from Mexico to the gourmet world was born, the Tequila Route is distributed in an extended area that also includes the towns of Amatitán, Teuchitlán, Aululco de Mercado, Etzatlán, San Juanito Escobedo, Magdalena and El Arenal. All of these picturesque sites keep the history of the libation alive and the haciendas or ranches that have manufactured it for hundreds of years, welcome visitors with tours and tastings of their best productions.
Here’s a look at the four factories that travelers should not miss while visiting the Tequila route.
Located in the town of Tequila, this is the oldest distillery in Latin America, dating back to 1812, and is where the tequilas of the José Cuervo family are manufactured. Look forward to an attractive program of activities including a virtual explanation of the tequila production process and a walk through the distillery. There are also shops where visitors can buy different products and try tequilas in the Bar de Margaritas.
Tequila route tours include visits to the land where the raw material is harvested. (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / camaralenta).
The tour of the Hacienda takes place through the Lemon Garden, the Plaza Juan Soriano, the Tasting Rooms, and along the industrial facilities where guests learn about the distillation processes since the plants arrive directly from the field.
Hacienda San José del Refugio
In these impressive facilities of Hacienda San José del Refugio in the town of Amatitán, visitors have the opportunity to taste tequilas and understand sophisticated laboratories, in addition to discovering traditional mud ovens. Casa Herradura prepares guests for an adventure that includes transportation from the city of Guadalajara, a specialized guide, tequila tasting, and visits to the towns of Amatitán and Tequila, among other experiences.
One of the great attractions is the tour along the Herradura Express Train where tourists can try cocktails created with exclusive recipes from their bartenders. In the factory, guests have the opportunity to learn about the distillation process, the warehouses, and the care given to the plant to ensure the best quality of tequila. Moreover, the Hacienda is a very interesting place for those who like ghost stories given its long history.
This is one of the most beautiful haciendas in the industry and has also been the manufacturer of Casa Sauza tequilas for hundreds of years. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious distilleries in the town of Tequila where tradition meets innovation in its production processes.
The tour of the facilities includes a trip to La Constancia, which is the store where the plant ripens, then follows with a walk through the distillery and a visit to the Casona de la Quinta Sauza. After that, visitors have the opportunity to prepare their drink in the fabulous Quinta Sauza Garden, and finally, finish their tour in the shop Los Recuerdos de Sauza.
Along the way, visitors learn about innovative manufacturing processes that have resulted in the creation of recognized premium products in the industry.
Tequila factories use traditional and modern techniques in world-class facilities. (Photo via Will McGough).
This important distillery is the manufacturer of the renowned tequilas of Casa Orendain, which began operations in 1800. It opened its doors to the public in the city of Tequila in 2014 and, since then, has received more than 500,000 visitors. Guided tours here include tests of the cooked agave plant and freshly distilled tequila, as well as tastings of Casa Orendain tequilas and visits to the different shops to purchase their products.
Visitors to the facilities have the opportunity to learn about the process of making the tequilas from the time the plants are received, through harvesting, cooking the product in traditional and modern ovens, grinding for the extraction of agave juice for fermentation that is deposited in stainless steel tubs, distillation, and storage, aging in selected casks, and finally bottling the products.