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Camara Nacional de la Industria: National Chamber of the Tequila Industry, formed in 1990 as the Regional Chamber, to strengthen and develop the tequila industry. It works with the Mexican government to protect and strengthen agricultural, industrial, and commercial activities related to tequila, protects and guards the management of the agave plantations in order to ensure future supply. The CRT also takes legal action against companies adultering their product., Composed of industry members, and based in Guadalajara.
Updated May, 2011
The 2007 Tequila Tour
In April, 2007, a group of 26 forum members descended on Jalisco for our second group tour. This time we were in Mexico for eight days: three days in and around Tequila, two days in Los Altos, and two days in Guadalajara (one day of free time for those who wanted to explore this beautiful, colonial city). Every tour should have some free time in the towns, too, and this time we spent more time just enjoying and walking around both Tequila and Arandas.
Sunday, April 22:
My first day on the tour started with Continental inexplicably running late in departing from Toronto and leaving my luggage at my connection in Houston. The airline reps in Guadalajara airport were slightly less helpful than tree stumps, and I took a taxi to my hotel filled with the sense of dread my luggage would not arrive before I began the trek to tequila.
Once settled into my room at the hotel, I wandered into the courtyard by the pool where staff from Tequilas de la Doña were setting up their display for the evening's event. There was a large group gathering around and I recognized several forum members from 2006. Time for greetings and hugs. Then we had snacks and a chance to sample many of the company's products, as well as received personalized bottles of their agave elixir añejo.
Monday, April 23:
Took a few minutes to take a group through the National Museum of Tequila before we headed over to our first distillery. Once again we got to appreciate the hospitality of our friends at Tequileña and Cofradia. The setting at Cofradia is delightful and beautiful, too, and a place where I could spend many more hours. But unfortunately we were running late and had to leave sooner than any of us wished, in order to get to Amatitan in time for our tour of Partida. When we returned we made the trip to La Capilla, Don Javier's famous bar in Tequila.
Tuesday, April 24:
My biggest disappointment this trip proved to be the National Museum of Tequila. I wanted to pick up several items at the gift shop, but they were closed until 10. That's 10 Mexican time; by 10:30 the employee still hadn't shown up and I had to run back to the hotel to get the bus (although has I know where were were going I could have walked to Arette, which is perhaps 5-10 minutes away!), Because of the busy day, I was never able to get back to the museum while it was open.
Wednesday, April 25:
We headed out early in the morning to Arenal, stopping first on the highway at Don Valente's small operation. The owner arrived a few minutes later on his bicycle. Then we took the bus into town and along the back streets to the Mascarillo plant, which wasn't in operation, so it was a pretty dull visit. However, they did give us each a bottle of their reposado, so it made up for everything. Once we left there we drove several kilometers towards Guadalajara to stop at the La Quemada plant, where a big reception was awaiting us, and we were treated to a traditional display of Mexican horsemanship and a mini-rodeo. Plus we got to hear some amazing good singers who performed while we enjoyed lunch. We headed out towards Arandas and arrived there in the early evening, having driven through Guadalajara in the rush hour.
Thursday, April 26:
Our first trip took us half-way back to Guadalajara, to visit the El Duende plant in Tepotitlan, but it was worth the trip. Aside from getting to see a lot more scenery and some of the smaller towns along the way, we were treated to laser-engraved bottles of El Agave añejo with each tour member's name, and got to watch them being filled and capped while we waited. Plus we got a superb luncheon at the El Agave restaurant in the town. From there we drove all the way back to the other side of Arandas, where we met Carlos Camarena in one of his agave fields, and watched workers harvesting pups. Then we toured the distillery, always a favourite of tour members. Dinner that evening was hosted by Don Nacho, who was there to talk about his tequilas and his other passion: hot peppers.
Friday, April 27:
Friday morning was spent touring Agave Tequilana, east of Arandas, which was followed by luncheon and mariachi music. We were supposed to get to Cazadores, but as usual we ran late, and had to call and cancel, since we weren't likely to get there before 3. So we got a free afternoon to wander around, exploring Arandas.
Saturday, April 28:
Saturday was a free day spent wandering through downtown Guadalajara, visiting several of the colonial buildings, getting torus, going into art galleries, wandering around the huge mercado, and just wandering the streets in search of stores and tequila.
Sunday, April 29:
The security guards at the airport shook a few of us down for la mordida - a forced tip - in order to let us get outside the country without a hassle over so much tequila in our luggage. It was all a con, but we fell for it (and rued our naivete later).