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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Los Osuna Tequila Factory near Mazatlan, Mexico



One of the most interesting places that I visited during my recent trip to the Mexican state of Sinaloa was the Los Osuna tequila factory, which is located about an hour's drive from Mazatlan. At one time, there were over 100 tequila factories in the Mazatlan area, but apparently they were all closed by the Mexican government. Los Osuna has reopened, both as a working factory and as a tourist attraction. The 19th-century hacienda is something of a museum, with ancient machinery and artifacts such as antique tequila bottles on display. Los Osuna still processes the Blue Agave plant using traditional methods and takes pride in the purity of its final product, which has no cane sugar or other additives found in lower quality brands.



Even though its tequila is definitely the real thing, Los Osuna can't use the word "Tequila" on its bottle labels since the state of Jalisco owns copyright to the name. Consequently, Los Osuna calls its tequila "Distilado 100% Agave Azul." You can easily get to the factory from Mazatlan by rental car, but don't spend too long at the tequila sampling table before heading back to town. Another alternative is to sign up for one of the tours offered by operators in Mazatlan, and leave the driving to them.



To get to Los Osuna, drive north of Mazatlan on Highway 15 and turn right on the road to La Noria. The tequila factory is located a few miles before La Noria.

14 comments:

j_sammons said...

I went there a short time ago as part of a Carnival Cruise excursion, and it was by far the best tequila I have ever had. I am still trying to find out online where I can get it, since none of the places around where I live carry it. If you enjoy good tequila, I'd recommend checking this place out.

Tony Arriaga said...

Los Osuna is probably the best Agave factory I have been to. Do not waste your time on the Puerto Vallarta "tequila factory" since Los Osuna is far superior and the tequilla is better tasteing and less expensive for the quality you are getting. Visited April 12,2007. Tony Arriaga

Anonymous said...

My Husband and some friends and I went there in February of 2006. My in-laws and my parents have also been there and we all agree Los Osuna Reposado is one of the best tequillas we have ever tasted. It is a very smooth sipping tequilla. I wish we bought more of it when we were there. I'll have to wait till next time. Please go ant try it, it is worth the trip.

Corporate Pro said...

Los Osuna tequila is available for sale by the bottle for a good price at Royal Villas hotel, either in the small store by the front entrance or at the hotel bar. The owner of the hotel also owns the tequila factory. The staff is exceptionally friendly. The chef at the hotel restaurant "Hacienda de la Flora" has won more awards than most chefs in Mazatlan.

Corporate Pro said...

The history of tequila is a 'classic story in economics'. When taxes were raised farmers stopped producing. The balance point at which it was no longer profitable to produce was exceeded at one point. Excessive taxes at one point practically halted national production. A subsequent reduction in taxes lead to a rapid replanting and eventual increase in production. Rapid is a relative term since it takes 12-15 for the agave plants to ripen.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that back in the 40's a Governor of Sinaloa was paid to stop tequila production in Sinaloa by competitors from Jalisco.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise to Mazatlan, and went on the Blue Agave tour by Vista Tours and found the reposado they have there to be one of the best we have tried. We didn't sign up for the excursion through the cruise line, we did it independently and discovered the tour to be much better. Some of our cruise mates did not receive some of the same "benefits" that we did. We will be going back soon and can't wait to bring some more back with us.

Anonymous said...

You are not going to be able to buy the Los Osuna "distilled agave product" on the net. I took a tour of the factory last week, and they said for tax purposes, they are only allowed to sell within the state of Sinaloa.

If they export out of the state or out of the country, there is a different tax that gets added to them. So, they only sell within Sinaloa.

Todd Swedberg said...

We spend February in Mazatlan each year and one of our annual trips is always to the Los Osuna Plantation. Take one of the many tours offered in Mazatlan to get a more in depth history of the plantation. Prono Tours is our favorite and operates out of many of the high end resorts in the Golden Zone of Mazatlan. You will not be disappointed! (and the "Tequilla" they make is not too bad either!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I toured the ranch/distillary on our trip to Mazatlan. We took a taxi with another couple rather than do a packaged trip. It was a delightful day - seeing the countryside, stopping for pictures where we wanted. The tour was wonderful - they took us as a group of 4 rather than a whole busload. The tour was vry interesting - tasted the cooked pineapple then tasted the product at the tasting bar. Wonderful - everything about it. Would do it again on our next trip. Brought 5 bottles back - hope they last!

Jeff Filby said...

I just visited this distillery on 04/30/2010. I've never been a big fan of tequila, but must admit that Los Osuna's "Reposado" is the smoothest, best tasting tequila I've ever had. I shot down the first shot and then sipped the second and it was smooth either way...no nasty aftertaste at all. I took this tour (along with lunch in El Quelite) through King David Tours from Mazatlan. Our guide, Fernando, was very courteous and informative. While enjoying the tequila at the outside patio, we were entertained by a wonderful singer, Patricio, who has an excellent voice. A very personable gentleman, he has copies of his CD's for sale there as well...a great souvenir of the tour.

Robert J. said...

Let's put this all in perspective. There is NO tequila produced in the state of Sinaloa. What you was a non-functional model of a distillery and what tasted was tequila, bought in bulk in Jalisco, then bottled in in this Los Osuna pretend distillery.

There are no exceptions to this rule about where tequila can be made.

John Mitchell said...

The drink produced at Los Osuna (I've seen it being made at the distillery) is "Blue Agave," which is simply Tequila by another name. The state of Jalisco owns the copyright to the "Tequila" brand, so only blue agave made in that state can legally be called Tequila. -JM

Rasbarri said...

John Mitchell, you're absolutely right. For those of you who have asked where to purchase Los Osuna above, you can now purchase the product online through K&L Wine Merchants (www.klwines.com)