My first trip to Tequila was on a "Day Tour" from Puerto Vallarta, in May of 2006. Besides the very long ride, our time in Tequila was extremely quick, 1 hour at La Cofradia, 1 hour for lunch (at a place that I believe is over by Pemex, but have never been to again), and about 20 minutes to see the town.
On our way there, we stopped at some ruins (lost the pics), and “played” with some volcanic rocks. After about 4 hours, we finally get to town and we make the right hand turn to go to Cofradia, and I see homes that are not in the very best of shape, and my thoughts were not “wow, this town is a dump”, but rather “this must me a real humble town, to not have a façade, and to care less about what tourist think”. For me, I really appreciated that quality, and I found a certain beauty in it. But once we got to La Cofradia, it took on a whole new ball game. The pictures that I had seen, just didn’t do it justice. It was a very tranquil and pretty place, with large mango trees, a duck pond, and snfffff, the sweet smell of cooked agave! Our tour guide who was with the tour company - not La Cofradia – gave us a basic tour of the distillery (got to taste cooked agave for the first time!), then took us to the barrel room for a tasting of mixto, blanco, repo, and añejo. For the blanco, he said “this, you want to throw back”, and after taking my time sipping it, he scolded me – what a schmuk! So we end that tasting with Casa Noble añejo, spend some time looking at souvenirs and tasting the original La Pinta and some of the flavored mixtos they had blended with Sprite (or something like that – and yes, I did like it!) as well as a look inside the museum next door. Then it was off to lunch, and then a quick trip to town.
Of course 20 minutes was not enough as I need time to find as full set of Los Abuelos tequila and have a Batanga at La Capilla. Well, I’m draggin my wife all over town like a blind man looking for the Sauza museum to purchase my first set of Los Abuelos, I forgot about the museum part and only ask about Sauza. Which of course, I am pointed in the right direction, but with only minutes to spare we step into the liquor store that is on the corner across from the church, and they had a full set for me. We buy ‘em and get on the bus in the nick of time. Not that I would have minded staying there, but my wife, Elizabeth would have beat my ass! Haha!! Not til later did I realize that we had past both the Sauza museum and La Capilla.
For anybody that plans on making a visit to Tequila from Puerta Vallarta on a bus, make sure that bus has a bathroom. Ours did not. And it made a very long and uncomfortable trip.