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Friday, February 10, 2012

Tuesday visit to Los Osuna Tequila Factory

Third post of the day Friday – really making up time here.
When we get home we’ve got some minor repairs to the Alfa to make – both the kitchen and bathroom faucets are getting persnickety – they are special RV faucets so have to wait for an RV equipment place to buy them. Just little things but they are to be expected after ten years of use. And many miles of bouncing down the highways. It amazes me how well RVs do hold up. Like a constant earthquake when you’re moving.
When Roberto and his wife Jessie were here last Sunday she mentioned that the tequila factory (easier to write than distillery) were cooking the bulbs of the agave plants –the piñas - and they would be taking them out of the ovens and crushing them on Tuesday morning. So we headed out there to watch. Oops – they wouldn’t be doing them until the next day. But we visited with all the workers and learned lots of interesting stuff.    
The distillery is just off the road that goes to La Noria – down a dirt road among the fields of blue agave.
A car was stopped right in the middle of the road so we had to stop and wait for the driver to down the hill and move his car. Don’t know what they were doing up there – but the driver is one of the owners of the distillery. The other guy was still up there with his machete when we left. Looked like he was clearing brush but don't know for sure.
Los Osuna is the name of the tequila and the family that owns the place. There are several of these huge trees around the place.
Bill talking to Jessie and some of the vibrantly colored bougainvilleas that grow all around the buildings.
The building where all the quality controls are. Even the buildings are pretty and colorful.
Some of the piñas waiting to be put in the ovens. The bulb of the blue agave is harvested after seven years of growing. The leaves are cut off and the bulb is dug up.
A closer look at the piña. Can see where the leaves used to be.
The mules that are used for tourist demonstrations were just hanging out in the shade eating some grass when a couple vans loaded with tourists pulled up.
Their handler quickly got them and took them over to the old fashioned grinder and started to harness them. (Jessie told us the handler is the only one the mules obey as he is the one that feeds and cares for them.) He was getting the darker colored one all set up in his harness when the lighter one took a look at what was going on and decided to leave the area. One of the guides chased him down before he got too far.
All harnessed up and ready to go. They walk around in a circle and the big stone wheel crushes the cooked cane. (Or used to.)
The handler uses a rope (see video) or the broom to keep them moving while the tourists – me included – take pictures.

As soon as the tourist leave they go back in the shade to munch.
Just another picture of the grounds of the distillery.
One of the barrels inside where the tequila is aged.
I still have another post about the grinding of the piñas, but will wait until tomorrow to do it.
Read the two posts before this one to catch up with us.
Today we went into downtown and walked our feet off shopping.

1 comment:

  1. I have a question....where do the tequila worms come from?