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Tequila has an undeservedly bad reputation that comes from a lot of young people having really bad first experiences with cheap (mixto) tequila and the subsequent hangover that everyone wished they would rather be dead than suffer further. Remember kneeling in the bathroom making homage to the ceramic god? Or lying on the lawn desperately holding onto the grass to avoid falling upwards into space? Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. And the hat, the sandals, the shades...
Updated May, 2011
Other Mexican States
Four others can legally produce Tequila
While all of Jalisco can legally grow the blue agave for tequila, or produce tequila, only a portion of four other states can do so. Of these, three (Michoacan, Guanajuato and Nayarit) border Jalisco. The fourth, Tamaulipas, is further east, on Mexico's Caribbean (Gulf) coast. More than 80% of all blue agave is grown in Jalisco (more than 336 million agaves planted throughout Mexico in the years 2000 to 2006).
Once all tequila had to be made by law in Jalisco state. Although that has been changed for more than 20 years, only two distilleries are currently in business outside Jalisco. The owners of La Gonzaleña - makers of Chinaco - fought a long battle to get the laws changed to permit tequila to be made outside Jalisco. They won their fight only in 1977, and now operate the sole distillery in the northeast state of Tamaulipas.
The other distillery outside Jalisco is Tequilera Corralejo, which opened in 1996 in the city of Penjamo, in Jalisco's neighbouring state of Guanajuato. This distillery is named after an earlier distillery opened in the state in 1755. Blue agave for tequila use may also be grown in the states of Nayarit, Guanajuato and Michoacan.
There are four tequila producing regions defined by the CRT. Region 1 is the west and northwest portions of Jalisco, plus the counties in Michoacan and Guanajuato. Region 2 is the Tequila region of central Jalisco, and the counties of Nayarit. Region 3 is the eastern and southern portion of Jalisco (including the Los Altos region). Region 4 is Tamaulipas. In total there are 180 municipalities (counties) in the five states that can produce tequila or grow the blue agave for tequila.
Michoacan: 30 counties
Total agave plants planted 2000-2006: 12,142,505.
Guanajato: 7 counties
Total agave plants planted 2000-2006: 7,727,415.