Inverarity Morton Visits Hacienda Patron
INVERARITY MORTON VISIT HACIENDA PATRÓN
Visiting wineries will never go out of style, and craft beer distilleries may have cemented their place in the tourism hall of fame over the past decade too, but spirit distilleries are finally starting to carve a considerable chunk of their own from the alcohol tourism mountain. Outside of Kentucky, few places are as strongly associated with a single spirit as Mexico is with tequila, and for that you can thank appellation of origin. These are the rules mandating that certain products only be named for a place if they actually come from that place, like Champagne. Tequila is one of these specially protected products, so anything branded as ‘tequila’ must come from the Mexican state of Jalisco, where there is actually a town named Tequila, or one of a very small number of neighbouring municipalities. Thanks to the relatively recent spike in spirit distillery tourism, Jalisco is an increasingly popular Mexican destination for curious (and thirsty) travellers, but there’s one premium tequila producer whose facilities are so exclusive you can’t visit without an invitation, (and that means everyone wants one!)
Hacienda Patrón is where all of Patrón tequila is distilled, and some of our Inverarity Morton sales team recently scored an invite to Hacienda Patrón for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s best-selling tequilas. The first building when you enter through the gates is a spectacular Spanish Colonial-style palace, but it’s not actually a house at all. It’s the distillery. Despite the 45-foot high domed entrance and the handmade doors, windows, and stones throughout, not to mention the art collected from around the world or the auditorium, dining rooms, and chapel within, the primary function of this Hacienda is the production of Patrón. Inside, you’ll see many of the brand’s nearly 2,000 employees meticulously crafting Patrón, from cooking the agave and extracting the sugars to fermenting, distilling and eventually bottling, all by hand—a total process that requires an average of 62 pairs of hands touch every single bottle of Patrón before it reaches you in a bar. Despite the labour-intensive process of producing the tequila, the most exhilarating room in the Hacienda’s distinguished distillery is the bottling room, which can be witnessed from a viewing platform above. Our Inverarity Morton team took in the sight of hundreds of hands sticking labels, numbering, stuffing, and wrapping the constantly clanking bottles into beautiful boxes, sending them out across the globe.
Nothing drives home how obsessively handmade each bottle of Patrón tequila is like witnessing the entire production process in person, but the most traditional step may be the one that takes place off-site in the agave fields that supply the brand with its blue Weber agave (the only species of agave out of roughly 200 that can be used for tequila). Here, jimadors harvest and chop the leaves from each agave plant before loading them on donkeys and sending them to the trucks. Jimadors are beloved in Jalisco, where the harvesting and trimming process has remained virtually unchanged since the 1600s, and most jimadors were trained by their fathers, who were trained by their fathers, and so on in a centuries’ old line of tradition. Witnessing all this, you can’t help but consider all the heritage behind each sip of tequila!
Our Inverarity Morton team said, “The whole trip was just so incredibly special! It was a fascinating experience to visit the home of one of the world’s most premium tequilas – especially one that continues to utilise traditional production methods. We witnessed true traceability from field to bottle during some incredible immersive tasting experiences. We don’t want to give too much away about touring the Patron Hacienda, but it’s truly a ‘Once in a lifetime’ trip. It was also fantastic to spend quality time with some of our valued Inverarity Morton customers. If you get the opportunity, you must absolutely go. Thank you so much to all the Patrón team for hosting us!”