How Authentic Tequila is Made

by Karl | Updated: April 14, 2021

There’s almost no way you can hear the word tequila and not think about colorful Mexico. The town of tequila is the birthplace of Mexico’s national drink.

It’s a magical town filled with colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, which are surrounded by Hills lined with fields of agave plants.

The mild fragrance of the agave escapes from the furnaces, spreading to the town, which feuls my curiosity to learn more about how the spirit is distilled.

And who better to learn from than one of the handful women in leadership within the tequila industry and the individuals working at Casa San Matias. You don’t taste factory made, but rather a family made tequila with an extraordinary experience.

I’m Jeff. I just retired from the military, sold everything I own, and now I’m traveling around the world to learn from brewers, winemakers, distillers and tell their story. This is my journey of beer, wine, and spirits.

I took over the company 22 years ago. That was in 1997. And my goal and my passion has been working with the team and become a family with them. I really enjoy everyday. It’s my life working in San Matias. And we have created like, you know wonderful tequila’s for everybody in the world.

All our agaves are from the highlands of Jalisco. Corazones tequilas are only made from agaves from this region. Eh, one of the main reasons is because it’s part of our DNA of the company. And also because we can find here the red soil. This soil gives a lot of minerals to the profile of the tequila at the end. The agaves from this region are really fruity as well. That’s where you can taste the sweetness of the agave.

The main character. There is a El Jimador.

Can harvest 100 agaves per day. Which sounds easy, but that’s really hard.

School is in session. I am about to harvest and agave plant here. I’m learning El Tio. I won’t tell you how he got his nickname, but if you look at his eyes, you understand why. So he made it look easy. Let’s see if I can do the same.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m already breathing pretty heavy and this is my first one, I’m not even gone through it yet. I’m breathing really heavy right now. All I got to say, this is a lot of work. And this is just one.

These guys are able to do a hundred a day. So really you guys are the unsung heroes of tequila. Thanks for observing. Thanks for watching. I appreciate it, buddy.

You can find Penas from seven years to nine years, that is like the common or the average that we use for our tequilas. So you can have an idea from 60 kilos, we can get eight leaders of the tequila. So it’s not that much. And we need so many. And so this is part of the deal of having a good product in your hand. It’s part of the process.

We take it to this distillery and we have agave patio. We call it agave patio there and we cut it into half.

I guess I did a good job.

We put it inside a pre-cooker for our process for 48 hours.

And we have to process in our facility, one for Matias tequila that is 100% of the original process.

You met Pepe, we are and animal friendly company here. So we, we created Pepe is helping us to close crush the Tahonas.

We have pine woods for fermentation and a copper still for the distillation there. So that makes a whole process, the old fashioned way to the tequila.

We also have the roller miller. That is the common way to extract the juices from the agave, from all the rest of the brands that we have on there in our portfolio.

After we crush the juice, we extract the juice from the roller miller. We take it to the bats, steel vatts for the fermentation that lasts 72 hours there. We had different kinds of yeast that we use for each brand.

And after that we do two distillations in our products. The first distillation we’ve cut the tails and the hearts from the product.

And after that, we do the final distillations.

You were lucky to try out a 110 right? Yes.

Blanco is right away. And we just, uh, take it to the proof that we need it for each market. And the Reposad and Anejo this is like the room for them. We use French Oak and we use American Oak as well.

Someone’s are previously used and some of the brands, they use new barrels. New American Oak barrels or new French Oak barrels as well. We have that a lot of timing in our products, the highest one that is Rey Sol that we have it with six years in French Oak barrels. And so it depends on the brand that we take care of there aging here in this position.

Right now we have two lines. One line is for the products that are really complex barrels that we use for, for the brands. Per hour, we can bottle 8,000 bottles, but in the first line that is complete. We can put the cork on it. We can put the label on it and we can feel the juice in the bottle. We can do the 12,000 per hour there.

What I loved about this, this whole experience today was that I get the sense of family. I mean, we talked about it with Carmen, the owner, I mean you today, just everybody just made us feel warm and inviting here.

And I see that replicated when I try that brand too as well, man. I can’t thank you enough for allowing us to come show us how tequila is made. And again, I appreciate it, man. Thank you so much.

Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.