The art of making Tequila
October 14, 2010One of the great things about my recent trip to the Tequila Valley was that I got to see a lot of distilleries and learn first hand how each distillery adds their personal stamp to their batches. All Tequilas start with the basic ingredients- agaves, water, yeast- and must be produced in one of five states in Mexico - Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. The master distiller adds his/her own processes and techniques to arrive at a very distinct flavor. Some distilleries are mammoth like Herradura. Others like Cofradia are contracted by many to produce a variety of brands. El Llano (meaning "the Plains") is a small, boutique distillery that was founded in 1900 by one of Mexico's foremost Tequila families. Eduardo Orendain is a fifth generation Tequila master. His pride and passion show in every word he utters. He was a complete joy to talk with and meet. While down there we recorded Tres Agaves' Eric Rubin as he took us on a tour of the "fabrica" and highlighted why some might fine Tequila flows from El Llano's stills. Note: The "tour" progressed to the tasting room and, er, we "forgot" to get footage. Next time I'll add more from the cellars and tasting rooms.