Sherry Bodega Visit: Bodegas Osborne
Cocktail Menu: Red Medicine in Los Angeles

Tequila Distillery Visit: Herradura

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.

Stacks of agave tequila herradura distillery_tn
(Here they split the agave in two before baking.)

Fermentation tanks tequila herradura distillery_tn
(The magic of Herradura is that it ferments naturally- no yeast is added.)

Barrel aging tequila herradura distillery_tn
(Sleeping tequila.)

  • 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
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