If sleeping in aristocratic haciendas, savoring unique dishes straight out of Mexican folklore and sipping craft Tequilas in some of the world’s most exclusive spirit-producing regions sounds like an experience not to be missed, then Viva Tequila Festival Experience of the Lowlands and Highlands of Jalisco state in Mexico is tailor-made for you.
Juan Bonilla Imports is an Atlanta-based company dedicated to teaching the history and artistry of Tequila. Its anchor activity is the annual Viva Tequila Festival, which highlights the food, drink and culture of Mexico in a fun, upscale setting. The company is now offering its own exclusive tour across the agave fields of the UNESCO-designated Tequila region as well as other parts of Jalisco, Mexico.
Hosted by wine, beer and spirits purveyor Juan Bonilla, dubbed “Mr. Tequila,” the Viva Tequila Festival Tour takes participants on an exclusive trip down the historic timeline of the Tequila Trail, providing in-depth understanding of the different regions that cultivate Tequila, the history of this iconic Mexican spirit and its importance in the local, national and international economies.
Bonilla’s family has been involved in the production of Tequila for more than a century, and his relationship with small-to-large tequila makers and local businesses in Jalisco ensures a once-in-a-lifetime experience that very few people ever get to enjoy.
The Viva Tequila Festival’s Mexico Experience visits the cities of Tlaquepaque, Tequila, Atotonilco and Guadalajara to provide a local perspective of the manufacturing of Tequila. Participants will be able to mingle with locals and admire and shop for unique Mexican works of art, both folk and fine, all while sipping limited edition craft Tequilas from distilleries that embody the traditional to modern styles of manufacturing. Highlights includes visits to the Fortaleza and Don Nacho craft distilleries as well as hacienda of José Cuervo, where participants bottle their own Reserva de la Familia, and enjoy a tasting in the property’s private cellar and then dinner at the Tienda de Raya, both opened exclusively for Viva Tequila Festival.
All Tequila tastings are paired with meals at some of the region’s most iconic restaurants, including Tlaquepaque’s Casa Luna Restaurant, which offers a Tequila as well as regional fruit drinks, and Solar de la Animas Hotel, which serves breakfast-time “wake-you-up” morning drinks.
Tour participants are treated to stays in centuries-old haciendas that were once home to some of Mexico’s wealthiest people. Take a morning horseback ride at the historic, 17th century Hacienda Labor de Rivera or disconnect and relax with a spa treatment at Hacienda El Carmen Hotel & Spa.