Kelly's 2012 Mexico Tequila Tour

March 03 - Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Rio de Plata Distillery

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The day started in a liesurely fashion. A late breakfast, then my guide, Juan Bernardo Torres Mora would pick me up at 1:30. At the appointed time he arrived, and we went to a marketplace in Guadalajara to find some Guayabara shirts. I've had the idea for some time to get some stylish Mexican shirts. They'd fit right in at some of the upscale tequila tastings I attend. After trying on a number of different shirts, I selected three. One black, one burgundy, and one white linen. They even gave me a discount.

Before lunch we headed to the adjacent town Tlaquepaque. Juan Bernardo took me to an old authentic cantina that's been there for over a century. I could almost feel as though I was stepping back in time. Ordering a local cerveza (which is imported back home) in Espanol, Juan Bernardo told me the story of the bicycle over the bar. It seems some priest in the old days arrived, ran up a bit of a tab, and wound up having no pesos with which to pay. Explaining that he'd come back with money soon, he left the bicycle as collateral. He never returned, and the bicycle remains.

We had lunch at the third place we tried- Evidently there were some weddings going on, which had Juan Bernardo's first two choices booked solid. But I was quite happy with the place in which we wound up- The food was exceptional, the atmosphere calm, inviting, and interesting, and the people were great.

After lunch our destination was El Buho, the best liquor store in Mexico. I'd been looking forward to this for some time. The proprieter Emilio is a great guy, and offered tastes of many different tequilas. After picking out 7 bottles, I asked him to hold them for a couple of days. The plan was to get a Tijuana address, and have Emilio ship them there. I'd get the address from someone on the Blue Agave Tour. Once the bottles were in Tijuana, the plan was to walk them across the border. While I didn't know it then, the couple on the right were Jorge and Czarina, who would be on my tour!

Then we went to Destileria Rio de Plata, home of the former Rio de Plata, current Herencia de Plata, Herencia Historica, Dos Lunas, and others. Juan Bernardo is a consultant there, and he gave me a one-on-one tour. I got to chew on some freshly roasted agave, straight from the oven. It was amazing! At the end we went to the tasting room, which was not only beautiful, but well-stocked with many tequilas. We tasted the Herencia de Platas, the Historico, and a new almond liqueur and coffee liqueur. The Historico is fairly pricey, but I'll have to get some.

It's been said that "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." Well, I've been in the land of the blind, and I know more about tequila than most people I know. But Juan Bernardo is another matter. He's exceedingly knowledgable, and has probably forgotten more than I'll ever know. I believe he's finishing or has finished writing his second book on the topic. I got some good tips from him, but still it shows me how much more I have to learn!

Arriving back at the hotel, I found I was just in time to get together with Dave Yan, the marketing VP of Casa Noble. Dave met me at the hotel, which was very close to his house. We had a very nice chat for two hours. I had a good impression of him from the communication we'd had over the Internet before my trip, and he's great in person as well.



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GDL view
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GDL view
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Buying shirts w/
Juan Bernardo
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Marketplace
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Marketplace
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Marketplace
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Cantina bicycle
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Restaurant
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Restaurant
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Restaurant
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Restaurant
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El Buho
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El Buho
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Emilio with
my selections
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Jorge & Czarina
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Destileria
Rio de Plata
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Destileria
Rio de Plata
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Autoclave ovens
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Agave syrup
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Roasted agave
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Autoclave ovens
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Agave shredder
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Agave shredder
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Separator
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Fermentation
tanks
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Water heaters
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Fermentation
tanks
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Old barrels
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Juan Bernardo
and aging barrels
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Tasting area
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Finished
products
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What'll it be?
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A wonderful place

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