Somewhere in northeastern Romania. Photo taken November 30, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Not sure. We're staying in Chisinau for a week or so.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tequila and ruins

Yesterday was a busy tour day. A big first class bus arrived with our guide Jorge, just before 8:00am to take our RV caravan group near the town of Tequila to tour the big Herradura tequila factory. Yes, this is a distillery. But I call it a factory because it's such a huge operation.

The Herradura distillery produces 22 million liters of tequila per year!

It was an hour and forty minutes on the bus.

We had a nice new first class bus!

We arrived at about 9:40am and just after 10:00am we set out with our tour guide. We were surprised that the base ticket price was a hefty 200 pesos ($16.00 CAD) per person which included three samples of tequila. The optional 350 pesos ($28.00 CAD) ticket price was the exact same tour, but included a sample of their best tequila.

This was a family run operation until about nine years ago when the business was sold to American liquor conglomerate Brown-Forman (Jack Daniels, among others) for $776 million USD.

Ruth and Kevin at the Herradura distillery.

Our guide was really good. 

Both the guide and the tour were really good. We've been to a lot of distillery and brewery tours in our travels, and this was one of the better ones. Also one of the most expensive, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

We found it interesting how the agave plant is prepared for the ovens. A specialty worker called a jimador uses a unique knife to cut the main plant off the center core. The center core is called a piña (pineapple) because it resembles one...but of course it's not a pineapple.

Here's a video I took of Pedro, preparing the agave plant....turn up your volume!


The jimador does 120 agave plants per day just like this. You'd think they would have had a big machine that does it, but no...they do it the same way since this place began making tequila in 1870.

A pile of pinas, ready for the oven.

Betty, with Cuku the mascot.

Lots of stills!

And then of course, it was tasting time. Three shots of tequila before lunch is a little much!

Ruth, with our guide at the distillery. We can't remember his name!

It was almost 12:30pm by the time we made it back on to the bus. Not sure why, but our guide for the day, Jorge, had expected us to be done an hour earlier, so we were now off schedule. We had a choice of fish or shrimp for lunch, so I took orders and he called the reaturant so they would be ready for us.

Lunch for our group.

From there, we went to the Guachimontones ruins. Ruth and I had been to this ruins site about four years ago. It's a little different than other ruins sites in Mexico because the pyramids are round!




And then from there back to the RV park, arriving at about 5:10pm. It was a pretty long day, and now we're doing the same thing today with a tour to the big city of Guadalajara. I'm going to have to ask why we're doing these tours on back to back days when we're at this park for nine nights. There must be a reason.

Anyhow...gotta go...the bus is here!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Selfie stick deal of the day...I've never seen them this cheap!


And in Canada, today only...the ultimate easy bake oven for kids...






22 comments:

  1. We would have loved both tours. I loved watching how they make the tequila. Thanks for the video. Excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was an excellent tour and very interesting. We will do another tour similar to this in about a week and a half out in the country and up in the mountains with Mezcal which we think is even better because it is just a very small family production.

      Delete
  2. We did a tour of a tequila family run operation on our own and found it very interesting.
    That one is pretty huge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you were able to do one too George!

      Delete
  3. Your tequila tour reminded us of our mezcal tours in Valle de Juarez a few years ago. Quite a comparison between the mass produced tequila and the low production at a sort of illegal still.

    http://briansue2.blogspot.mx/2012/01/mezcal-moonshine.html

    http://briansue2.blogspot.mx/2012/12/more-mezcal-fun.html

    http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2012/01/mezcal.html#more

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That mezcal tour is our favourite by far! We love the nice country setting and Jesús is a very interesting and knowledgeable man.

      Delete
  4. swore off tequilla back in the seventies.. So I can't imagine three shots before lunch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha to funny! Atually you are given a shot but you don't drink it like a shot, you drink a good tequila by sipping it and enjoying the flavour.

      Delete
  5. Clever to take everyone's order on the bus on the way to the restaurant! This is what organisation is all about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does workout well this way, at least most of the time it does!

      Delete
  6. Your title sounds like most of our experiences with Tequila...looks like a great tour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, sounds like a few people have had the same results with Tequila! ;-)

      Delete
  7. Interesting....couldn't remember tequila factory guides name...after 3 shots were done. Coincidence? Teehee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honest, that wasn't the reason! ;-)

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the heads up on the selfie stick. I've had my eye on this one, which was inexpensive already and now, thanks to you Kevin, it's a bargain and a half! Loved this post with the agave plant/tequila process. Be safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad we were able to help you save a little more on that selfie stick.

      Delete
  9. Here's an adaptation of a marquee on a Mexican restaurant that we saw yesterday:
    I don't like tequila. Said no Juan ever.

    ReplyDelete
  10. No reason why tours are back to back, in fact I am surprised they are. I need to talk to Gabriel about that. Probably force of habit from the Fall trip where we are only at Villa Corona for 4 days. It would make more sense to do Guadalajara out of Roca Azul, It would make a shorter day. Thanks for the feedback. Anyway all the tours are now done excep for San Blas except for ad hoc ones. The rest of the caravan is beach & relax time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone is now looking forward to the next few weeks of relaxation, unless we come up with a few ideas of things to do along the way. Actually we do have a couple of things lined up already for Valle de Juarez, which we think the caravan group will enjoy.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...