Now for a lesson on Tequila. The one thing both Bacanora and Tequila have in common is that they are a distilled alcoholic drink. The main difference is that in order for Tequila to be called Tequila is that it must be made from the Blue Agave. Tequila is also a regional drink but is highly promoted world wide. Again the main difference in Bacanora and Tequila is with Tequila you won’t get that smoky taste.
Tequila comes from the city that bears it’s name and it is located in the State of Jalisco which is about an hour drive north of Guadalajara. As you travel along the highway, you will see fields, as far as you can see, of the Blue Agave and they are in all stages of growth. The first Tequila was produced in the 16th century in the town of Tequila. The Cuervo family was the first licensed distillery and the Sauza family was the first to start exporting. Over 300,000 plants are harvested annual. The town of Tequila is a quaint little town with cobblestone streets and not far off the toll road. You can see the larger distilleries as you enter the town. As you drive through the streets you will be greeted on every block by stores selling and tasting Tequila. The joy of doing this is that you will be able to see all the beautifully decorated bottles in all shapes and sizes. Recently we have seen some of these earthen vessels at COSTCO and TOTAL WINE in the Phoenix area. Below are some of the various bottle you can find in the United States as well as some great brand names in pretty bottles here in Puerto Peñasco.
The soil around Tequila is that of red volcanic rock which is great for drainage. There are 2 regions where the plants are grown and are know as the lowlands (which produce smaller plants, 150 lbs that give off an herbaceous taste) and the highlands will grow plants that can reach 240 lbs and they have a sweeter flavor. In the area there are over 100 distilleries that produce over 900 labels. The men that tend these Blue Agave from the planting to the harvesting are called Jimadors and they are the ones to say when a plant is ready to be harvested.
If you go to Guadalajara you can take the Tequila Train to the town of Tequila while sitting back and sipping while taking in the country side. If you have time, spend a few days there relaxing as you tour the various factories. There is lodging, golf and some great food along the way. Transcend yourself into thinking how this all started so many years ago.. Maybe if you are lucky, you can help break open a pina at one of the factories.
The process is very similar to Bacanora. Once harvested and the leaves stripped away, they are put in ovens and baked. From there the are either mashed or shredded. The juice is then put into either stainless steel or wooden tanks where they will ferment for 3 -7 days. Like Bacanora, Tequila is distilled twice and then either bottled or put into wooden barrels for further aging in order to give it that wonderful amber color and lovely flavor. Unlike wine that gets better with aging in the bottles, it does not change in the bottles. They say it is best to drink tequila within the first 2 years after opening it due to oxidation.
There are now 4 categories of tequila. 1) Blanco or Silver ages less than 2 months in stainless, 2) Resposado(rested) means it is aged from 2 months to 1 year in small oak barrels, 3) Anejo must be aged from 1 year to 3 years in small oak barrels and 4) Extra Anejo (this category just started in 2006) and it must rest 3 years in barrels.
By Mexican law, as I said, Tequila can be only produced in Jalisco, however now they have added certain cities with the States of Guanajuato, Michoacán,Nayarit and Tamaulipas. Also by law all Tequila has to be 38% but to ship to the United States it must be 40% or 80 proof.
When shopping for Tequila in Puerto Peñasco, check out The Tequila Factory, which is located on Benito Juarez near the railroad crossing. Here you find Manny’s Beach Club tequila and it is produced only for them in Jalisco. The have all 4 of the categories as well as many delicious flavored ones. Have Fernando tell you the story of how it started before he starts giving you samples. He will make up some great concoctions for you.
Whether you try Bacanora or Tequila, sit back, sip and enjoy them. Watch our blogs and you can plan a trip down during a Bacanora and Tequila Festival.
If you any questions Contact Us at Blog@Puerto-Penasco.com
Research came from Wikipedia and The Tequila Factory.