Background music "Hello New Day" courtesy of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.
BACKGROUND MUSIC CONTROLS
Tequila Culture Expeditions (TCE), 9 - 13 Feb 2015, Jalisco, Mexico
With the explosion of tequila's popularity, many people are anxious to learn more about this intriguing spirit. TCE includes historic and cultural background, explanatory distillery tours, and plenty of tequila tasting. Attendees will be immersed in many aspects of the tequila industry. This comprehensive expedition will be led by Mexican Historian and Author, Juan Bernardo Torres. Bernardo Torres, widely regarded as an influential expert in the tequila industry, is uniquely qualified to educate and entertain the attendees. For more information and a daily schedule, visit: http://s509141671.web-inicial.mx/schedule/travel-schedule/
San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 20-22 March 2015
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the first comprehensive, international spirits judging ever held in the United States on an annual basis. Judging is based on a blind, consensual procedure ensuring competitive integrity, making this annual competition the most reputable and recognized competition in the spirits industry. The 2015 Competition will be held at the distinguished Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. For more information, visit: http://www.sfspiritscomp.com/
4th Annual Vancouver International Tequila Festival, 30 May 2015
The Fourth Annual Vancouver International Tequila Expo will take place on May 30, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. For information, visit: http://www.vantequilaexpo.com/about_expo.php
9th Annual World Tequila Day, Amatitan, Jalisco, 27 May 2015
historians have long believed Tequila (mezcal wine) was being
produced in Amatitan, Jalisco back in the 16th century. Some historians
and officials claim the oldest known tequila producing factory
was discovered in 2008 on the El Caballito Cerrero Ranch in Amatitan
(just a few kilometers east of the town of Tequila). Ancient fermentation
tanks, ovens and mills were found at this location by tequila
historian Claudio Jimenez Vizcarra.  To view photos of this historic production area, click here on Tecuane Canyon Ruins.
Amatitan officials have worked with other politicians in Mexico in attempts to establish "World Tequila Day" as a national holiday in celebration of Mexico's
tequila Heritage. The event is also aimed at increasing awareness
and recognition for Amatitan as being an origin of tequila. Allthough the 4th and 5th annual events were less entertaining, the
3rd event on 27 May 2009 included performances by traditional
dancers from various parts of Mexico and entertainment by two
distinctive mariachi bands. Throughout the 2009 event, a group
of locals worked vigorously to break the world record for making/serving
the most margaritas at a single time - 7000 MARGARITAS! For more
details and photos of the celebration, click here on WORLD TEQUILA DAY 2009.
Texas Tequila and Margarita Festival, 19-20 June 2015, Galveston
The festival returns to Moody Gardens Hotel & Convention Center in Galveston June 19-20. For more information, visit: Texas Tequila and Margarita Festival
4th Annual Northwest Tequila Festival, (2015) Postponed
Each summer, Northwest Tequila Fest brings a little slice of Mexico to the Pacific Northwest for a day of sunshine, cocktails, traditional music, and of course, agave spirits. The event takes place at Phinney Neighborhood Center in Seattle. 2015 date is TBD. For more information, visit: http://www.nwtequilafest.com/
5th Annual Tequila Mezcal Expo, Alameda, CA, 22 Aug 2015
The biggest tequila & mezcal expo in Northern California with over 500 attendees in 2014. The event takes place at La Penca Azul Mexican Restaurant Tequila & Mezcal Bar at 891-B Island Drive in Alameda, CA. For more information, visit: http://tequilamezcalexpo.com/
7th Annual San Diego Spirits Festival, 22-23 Aug 2015
The San Diego Spirits Festival is Lifestyle focused and offers a multi-faceted event which will appeal to the novice cocktail lover, culinary enthusiast, fashonista and even the experienced Mixology pro. The 7th annual festival will be held at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. For more information, visit: http://www.sandiegospiritsfestival.com/shake-it-up-become-a-sponsor/
6th Annual Santa Barbara Tequila Harvest Festival, 29 Aug 2015
Sample Premium and Ultra Premium Tequilas and Mezcals ranging from legendary distilleries to master crafted estate grown brands straight from the heart of Mexico. The 2015 event will be held Saturday, 29 August 5pm to 9pm at Elings Park, 1298 Las Positas Rd, Santa Barbara, California, 93105. To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.agaveavenue.com/
Made in Mexico, San Diego CA, 19 Sept 2015
Taste among the largest selection of world class agave-based and other spirits produced in Mexico. Sample Tequila, Mezcal, Sotol, Bacanora, Liqueur, Rum, Vodka and more. The main event will be held at the Hacienda Hotel in Old Town, San Diego, from 3-6pm. For details, visit: Made in Mexico, San Diego
To view photos of the 2010 Spirits of Mexico Main Event, visit: Tequila Connection Photo Gallery
Expo Tequila Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, 25-27 Sept 2015.
A show made to know and enjoy the world around Tequila. Exposure and wholesale of Premium Tequilas, tastings, cocktail contest, art exposition on tequila theme, mariachi bands, food and more. The event will be held at El Refugio Culture Center, Donato Guerra 160, Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico.
For more information, call the Tlaquepaque Chamber of Commerce at 011 52 33 3838 3002. 15th
Annual Expo Tequila, Tijuana BC, Mexico 14-18 Oct 2015 Waiting for this year's location to be announced. Last year the
Tequila Expo was held at Ave. Revolution and Calle 7ma. in Centro
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The dates for this event seem to fluctuate so it's best to confirm with the Tijuana Tourism Bureau (telephone from the US is 1-888-775-2417). This Expo provides attendees the opportunity to experience different
aspects of Mexico's culture (traditional Mexican cuisine, mariachi
music, and dancers combined with a huge selection of agave-based
spirits). There are numerous booths manned by Tequila/Mezcal representatives
offering samples of their brands. There is plenty of tequila available
for purchase throughout the event. Entrance fee is nominal. Click here
to view photos from the Tijuana 2010 EXPO TEQUILA, 2012 EXPO TEQUILA
For more information, call the Tlaquepaque Chamber of Commerce at 011 52 33 3838 3002.
15th Annual Expo Tequila, Tijuana BC, Mexico 14-18 Oct 2015
Waiting for this year's location to be announced. Last year the Tequila Expo was held at Ave. Revolution and Calle 7ma. in Centro Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The dates for this event seem to fluctuate so it's best to confirm with the Tijuana Tourism Bureau (telephone from the US is 1-888-775-2417). This Expo provides attendees the opportunity to experience different aspects of Mexico's culture (traditional Mexican cuisine, mariachi music, and dancers combined with a huge selection of agave-based spirits). There are numerous booths manned by Tequila/Mezcal representatives offering samples of their brands. There is plenty of tequila available for purchase throughout the event. Entrance fee is nominal. Click here to view photos from the Tijuana 2010 EXPO TEQUILA, 2012 EXPO TEQUILAand 2013 EXPO TEQUILA.
6th Annual Arizona Taco Festival & Tequila Expo, Scottsdale, 17-18 October 2015
Many taco teams will compete offering tens of thousands of tacos to event attendees. Other familiar parts of the fiesta will return: Lucha Libre wrestling, live music, and cooking demonstrations. Admission to the Tequila Tasting Tent buys you samples from many different brands. Event will be held on the grass at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, AZ. Free parking for all. For more information, visit: Arizona Taco Festival - Tequila Expo
Tours to the Land of the Blue Agave
Back in 2009, there were a limited number of tour guides for hire that would pick you up at your hotel in Guadalajara and shuttle you (and your group) to tequila distilleries. If this is something you would like to do, I recommend you consider touring with David Ruiz, Tequila Expert and Consultant. Mr. Ruiz is an excellent interpreter, very helpful if you don't speak Spanish. His tours are custom private tours for select guests that want to learn about tequila and sample some of the finest tequilas available. He explains history, culture, and the production process and his outfit has special agreements with leading boutique tequila brands allowing tasting of their ultra premium tequilas not normally available to visitors. Tequila Tours.com is registered with the Mexican Secretary of Tourism. For more information, visit: http://www.tequilatours.com/
Although I have not personally attended, there are a few other entities offering a variety of tours around Jalisco's tequila region, such as the folks at http://www.experiencetequila.com/ ,
Tequila Culture Expeditions
, and the
Blue Agave Tour
with Khrys Maxwell.
Another option is to take the bus from Guadalajara (Centro Viejo Autobus also known as the "Old" bus station) to the town of Tequila. There are museums and distilleries within walking distance of the main plaza and you can easily arrange tours (including transportation) to a few local distilleries with tour groups departing the central plaza. Busses run frequently throughout the day back and forth between Guadalajara and Tequila. We found this is not the case from the new bus station in Guadalajara.
Touring the Arandas area is a bit more difficult as most distilleries do not give tours on a regular basis, and they are not nearly as accessible as those in the town of Tequila. It can be hit or miss when you show up (if there will be someone available and willing to give you a tour). Hiring a tour guide to visit the highland distilleries around Atotonilco and Arandas is recommended. Another possibility is to hire a taxi for the day with a driver that knows the area. If you don't speak any Spanish, this may not be your best option. We did a bit of both by hiring a tour guide (David Ruiz) who picked us up in Guadalajara and dropped us off at a hotel in Arandas after visiting distilleries in the Los Altos area. The next day we hired a taxi driver who took us to visit three more distilleries near Arandas. Our driver on this occasion (Jose Navarro) spoke some English and his rates were reasonable. We took the bus back from Arandas to Guadalajara. The trip takes about 2 1/2 hours and cost less than $10 per person (one-way). The bus from Arandas to Guadalajara arrives at the new bus station in Guadalajara. This is a huge bus station (multiple terminals) with connections to major cities throughout Mexico.
We are preparing for another annual visit to tequila country. As of 2014, we have toured over 3 dozen tequila distilleries making for many fond memories. We really enjoyed spending time with wonderful people and learning about their history, processes and passion. If you are in the Tequila Valley, don't miss the opportunity to visit Hacienda San Jose del Refugio (Herradura), Los Abuelos (Fortaleza), and La Cofradia. There are so many more and they all have a story. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone that has shown us around. The hospitality has been amazing! To view photos of the distilleries we have toured, go to the DISTILLERY PHOTO GALLERY section of this website.