Monday, January 29, 2018

How to Book a Real-Deal Mezcal Tour in Oaxaca

The best mezcal tours always take you into the small villages around Oaxaca, where small producers make mezcal according to tradition. But there's something equally important to consider when booking a mezcal tour: Some mezcal distilleries in Oaxaca are the foundation of their entire village's economy, while others are owned by out-of-state or international investors, cashing in on the current mezcal trend.

Make sure to support Oaxaca's local citizens by knowing the difference and finding a locally minded tour company.

Unless you speak fluent Spanish and are willing to invest hours of research, the best way to tour Oaxaca's mescal distilleries is to hire an experienced guide. If there were a better DIY way to do this, I would definitely recommend it, but the expertise of these tour operators cannot be underestimated: They are already familiar with the best small-scale mezcal distilleries; they will arrange all of the tour appointments (many mezcal distilleries do not maintain regular hours); they'll translate so you can connect with the distillers; and finally, they will help you avoid mezcal distilleries owned by out-of-state and international investors.
Agave harvest worker at Lalocura Mescalaria [Photo: Mattie John Bamman]

Here are the mezcal tour operators I recommend in Oaxaca, Mexico:

There are many other mezcal tour operators out there, but these are the ones I trust. Know of another excellent mezcal tour company? Give it a shoutout in the comments or shoot me an email to get it on the list.





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