Sherry Bodega Visit: Bodegas Grupo Estevez
Winter Drinks at Blackbird

Tequila Distillery Visit: Jose Cuervo

In November I visited seven tequila distilleries in Mexico. Here are some pictures and notes from my visit to the Jose Cuervo distillery in the town of Tequila.

Tequila jose cuervo agave fields2_tn(First we visited an agave field.)

Sharpening coa tequila jose cuervo agave fields_tn
(The jimador harvested the agave plant to get the pina, or pineapple, center.)

Camper english planting agave at tequila jose cuervo field4_tn
(I planted my own agave from the cuttings of a mother plant. I'll need to go back there in 7 or so years and drink that sucker.)

Loading agave ovens tequila jose cuervo distillery2_tn
(After harvesting, they load the agave pinas into the ovens. I didn't notice at the time, but it appears they put the whole agaves into the ovens without chopping them into smaller pieces.)

Copper pot stills tequila jose cuervo distillery2_tn
(Copper pot stills.)

Barrel sample tequila jose cuervo distillery_tn
(We sampled some Reserva de la Famila out of the barrel.)

  • April and May are the planting months for agave
  • Agave is harvested year-round, though they usually avoid the rainiest month
  • Cuervo irrigates their agave
  • They prune the leaves of their agave plants for three reasons: Because they're sharp, to avoid insects laying eggs in them, and to help the heart grow faster
  • For Reserva de la Familia, they cut out the cogollo, not for the mixto
  • Cuervo owns 4 distilleries
  • The distillery had 110,000 visitors last year
  • They use only oven, no autoclaves
  • The product of the first distillation, called ordinario, is cloudy
  • Heads and tails are called vinasas. They are mixed with the agave fibers and made into fertilizer. This happens here and at most distilleries we visited.
  • Reserva de la Familia agave is grown in special fields. It is aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels.



Crow in cage tequila jose cuervo distillery_tn
(I think it's a raven and not a crow, but hey look, I took a cool picture!)

Horse and lasso show tequila jose cuervo distillery4_tn
(We had a horse and lasso show before dinner. )

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.