Tequila Express

Steven Prentice (Student):  The Tequila Express was a very interesting experience. There were a lot of things that I learned from this trip and also, there were a few things that I experienced for the first time. The tequila industry is very complex and Herradura distills some of the finest tequila in Mexico.

The first thing that was a new experience for me was the train ride from Guadalajara to Amatitan, Mexico. Before today, I had never been on a train. The tour included a round trip time on the train of about four hours. The train took us through the beautiful Mexican countryside. When we arrived at Herradura, we began the tour of the distillery. First we learned that there is only one type of agave plant used to make tequila. This type of agave is the blue agave. Next we learned how the agave is harvested and prepared.  After the large plant is harvested all of the leaves are cut off and only the inner “pineapple” remains. This “pineapple” is cut in half and then roasted for hours. The juice is then squeezed out after roasting and finally this juice can be distilled into tequila. We not only got to tour the current plant but also the old retired plant. This was extremely interesting to see the rustic way of distilling that has been done for generations. Finally, there was a dinner put on by the company that consisted of many varieties of tacos all of which were very good. During this dinner there was a performance put on by a mariachi band and dancers. This was very entertaining and was the icing on the cake for the tour.

The tequila industry is very complex and there are many competitors. Herradura has been around since 1870 and they are still a leading producer of tequila today. This trip was very informative and also it was a lot of fun. I would recommend this tour to anybody weather they were interested in the field of business or not.

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5 Comments

  1. CU blog

    This trip was interesting even though I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of tequila. I did enjoy the old processes and traditions they carried out. Or the dedication to authenticity they used throughout their process. Most of all, I learned why you take shot of tequila with lime and salt; it was an old taste testing technique that saved the testers from burning their mouths. This visit was full of little pieces of information like that. They just tried really hard to keep it alive, and I can honestly say I appreciated it.

  2. CU blog

    This was the best part of the trip for me. I have a secret love for old traditions kept alive. This company was all about tradition. Most of the original family still live in the houses connected to the factory along with the fact that they preserved the original plant from 1821. The men that harvest the agave are part of a select group that are blessed with knowledge passed on by their forefathers. On the train ride back we got to witness all of the amazing Mexican countryside.

    Mike Tornatore

  3. CU blog

    I agree with Steve, didn’t expect it to take 10 years of preparation to produce tequila. One thing I would like to mention is on the train ride home, they had a little karaoke show. Although none of us got up to sing, we joined in with one of the locals when he sang “Wonderwall”. I feel one of us would have gone up there to sing if we weren’t exhausted from the early morning wake up call.

  4. CU blog

    This was definitely an experience! These people put so much life into the tour that it was a complete cultural indulgence. I LOVED the old factory and all the old timey equipment that were used. It’s crazy to see how far they’ve come but how many old traditions were retained.
    Valeria Zhukova
    P.S. i have a few found love for Mexican music thanks to this trip

  5. CU blog

    I agree with the observations Steve made regarding the complexity of the Tequila Industry, I had no idea. We learned that it takes years and years (like 30+) to grow the blue agave so that the long harvesting process can begin. The most interesting thing I learned is that the inner most part of the “pineapple” needs to be removed as it contains a web like substance that makes the Tequila bitter, if included in the cook. Our guide was very funny, knowledgeable about the process and about the estate. This estate is called a hacienda because it meets 6 unique criteria, which are a great house, a chapel, housing for the workers, livestock, crops, and a business. On the way to the hacienda, we passed the employee lodging area and I saw a small boy playing with rope. He was trying to make it circle around him and trying to jump over it. I thought it was cute. Our guide, Richard, told us that often generation after generation work on the property. Part of the performance included a man, performing all kinds of rope ticks while he danced, at the speed of light (almost), he was good. I thought to myself that small boy is practicing for his future as that talented performer was probably his father, his uncle or perhaps his grandfather. Another very interesting day. Charlene Marisol

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