Tequila! A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Updated: Nov 27, 2020
We love writing about PV here of course, but starting this month we are expanding to talk about some of the fun and interesting places that are part of Mexico. Did you know that tequila is not only a drink but a town?
Tequila is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the Jaliscan Highlands (Los Altos de Jalisco) of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco.
The red volcanic soils in the region of Tequila are well suited for growing the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year. Agave grows differently depending on the region. Blue agaves grown in the highlands Los Altos region are larger and sweeter in aroma and taste. Agaves harvested in the lowlands have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavor. Due to its historical and cultural importance, the region near Tequila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, the Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila.
Mexican laws state that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila is recognized as a Mexican designation of origin product in more than 40 countries. It is protected through NAFTA in Canada and the United States, through bilateral agreements with individual countries such as Japan and Israel,[and has been a protected designation of origin product in the European Union since 1997.
Tequila was first produced in the 16th century near the location of the city of Tequila, which was not officially established until 1666. A fermented beverage from the agave plant known as pulque was consumed in pre-Columbian central Mexico before European contact. When the Spanish conquistadors ran out of their own brandy, they began to distill agave to produce one of North America's first indigenous distilled spirits.
Some 80 years later, in around 1600, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, began mass-producing tequila at the first factory in the territory of modern-day Jalisco. Spain's King Carlos IV granted the Cuervo family the first license to commercially make tequila.
Don Cenobio Sauza, founder of Sauza Tequila and Municipal President of the Village of Tequila from 1884–1885, was the first to export tequila to the United States, and shortened the name from "Tequila Extract" to just "Tequila" for the American markets. Don Cenobio's grandson Don Francisco Javier gained international attention for insisting that "there cannot be tequila where there are no agaves!" His efforts led to the practice that real tequila can come only from the State of Jalisco.
In a move to take ownership of the term “tequila,” the Mexican government declared the term as its intellectual property in 1974. Opening a new door of business opportunity and international gain for the country of Mexico as a whole.
If you are driving from PV to Guadalajara you can stop in the town of Tequila and experience a tasting and tour, maybe get a room while you are at it. There is also a variety train choices from Guadalajara. If you have been there or taken the train, we'd love to hear your story.
Interested in moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? As a Canadian citizen and a US expat and a real estate professional, I can show you how easy it is to own and invest in real estate here in Mexico. Contact me. Selling your home? Contact us to find out ho much your home is worth.