In November I visited seven tequila distilleries in Mexico. Here are some pictures and notes from my visit to theHerradura distillery in the town of Amatitan.
- Agave grows for 7-10 years before harvesting
- Jimadors work for 6 hours a day and harvest about 120 plants
- They use clay/brick ovens, each one holding about 48 tons
- Agave cooks for 26 hours then cools for 24
- They use a rollermill to shred the agave after cooking, then a diffuser to get out the last bits of sugar
- The fermentation takes about 4 days
- The first distillation takes 3 hours, the second 6
- They use stainless steel stills
- They don't move the barrels around, refill them where they are. Use same barrels for about 10 years before replacing
- Between Herradura, El Jimador, and Antiguo, all of which are 100% agave products, they say the only difference is the amount of aging and the percent of alcohol. [That's not quite true, here is a chart that spells out the differences.]
- They age in all new American oak barrels.
- The reposado is aged for 11 months
Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.