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Oaxaca Mezcal Tours and Distilleries for Mezcal Tasting in Oaxaca

Updated: Jun 25

Less than an hour outside Oaxaca City, fans of the smoky agave elixir called mezcal can enjoy a day of agriculture, farm lands, and delicious mezcal tasting along the Ruta Caminos del Mezcal. With palenques (mezcal distilleries) just minutes from the downtown area, the route can be enjoyed all the way to the archaeological ruins at Mitla, to Tlacolula, where you'll find the popular Sunday market, and beyond to the "world capital of mezcal", Santiago Matatlan, just an hour into the journey.


Mezcal, for me, is one of the most unique and delicious liquors to cross my lips. Wonderful in cocktails, the smokiness of mezcal also stands up well on its own. Oaxaca mezcal tours and tastings can be found just about anywhere on this route, but it's good to have a few up your sleeve for the day.


a woman in a cowgirl hat takes a mezcal tour in front of pinas from agave

Below, find a list of mezcal distilleries, every one unique in its own right - some serving meals, others colorful representations of Oaxacan agriculture. Most showcase the original method of making mezcal, with horse or donkey driven spindles that grind cooked agave. The agave moves on to vats where it is fermented and distilled. I'll share a bit about this process below as well.


If you have a car, this journey will be very easy - just make sure you have a designated driver! Otherwise, I've also provided numerous tour options that will take all the guess work out.


Note: Always Pack Tissues represents many tried and tested travel sites as what is called an 'affiliate' partner. That means if you click on my ads I may get a commission from a resulting sale.


Before you go - be sure to bring your VinGardeValise Wine Suitcase to take home all your mezcal souvenirs!


Click here to get $25 off your wine suitcase purchase!

Oaxaca Mezcal Tours and Distilleries We Personally Visited and Recommend


In this section:


Mezcal Casa Chagoya


the colorful garden of agaves at casa chagoya

A lovely stop along the road to Tlacolula, stop into Casa Chagoya for their free tour, which takes about 35 minutes and is very informative. We learned about the many types of agave used for mezcal, discussed flora and fauna, the process of making mezcal the artesanal way (as well as the more ancient but still used today methods), and more. They are open from 10-6 daily.


copper vat and zapotec symbol on wall

Casa Chagoya, according to their website, is also the oldest of the palenques on the Oaxaca mezcal route, and its beautiful brick building houses many artifacts to support the claim. The clay pot method of making mezcal below is still used today at Casa Chagoya!


antique clay pot distilling process

They offer three tours, 2 of which reservations must be made at least 3 days in advance. No prior reservation is necessary for the free tour.


Of course we chose the most expensive of the three tours (~$57pp), but it is also the most immersive. Including everything you get from the free tour, you also get special samples of mezcal you wouldn't otherwise receive (I recommend taking home some reposado), intimate time with the maestro mezcalero, and a three course pairing dinner, served privately in their distillery cellar.


woman poses in a cellar in front of mezcal bottles

Be prepared to communicate in Spanish (or use Google Translate) to make the reservation via Whats App. Payment of 50% is required as a deposit through bank transfer or PayPal.



Mezcal Espina Dorada


a wooden building with clay pots

This family-run, small batch distillery was only a 3 min drive from our casa AirBnB, so naturally it was worth a stop. Full of passion, this authentic mezcal distillery will not disappoint. It was here that we first sampled chapulines, among other firsts including garlic infused mezcal to help you in sickness (or hey, for this Italian girl, also in health!). I love garlic so much, so I definitely brought a bottle of this home alongside the delicious reposado.






Palenque Gracias a Dios Mezcal


brightly colored mexican mezcal bar

Hold the phone, cause this palenque also offers an agave gin. Huzzah! Seriously, I love me some smoky mezcal, but gin is my numero uno, so their unique gin creation made from agave not only has my attention, but my heart.


gin made from agave in the bottle

Enough good things cannot be said about Gracias a Dios. For goodness sake, we walked away $400 USD lighter because of all the merch we brought home from this place. From their agave fiber hats and handmade chocolate from abuelita, to the tshirts and multiple bottles of liquor, we looked like looters leaving. I told the woman next to me who looked on in horror, "tenemos sed" (we are thirsty!). And we were.


By our luck, we were part of their tour the one day a year that they cook the agave, so we saw the whole process. I've shared more about the mezcal process in a separate post.


brick wall art with cactus and chairs

We also got a super special, VIP level experience with a film crew and famous chef to watch them make pechuga...but that's going to have to wait for a separate article, because it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.


Without giving you all the details and spoiling the fun, just know that surprises may be in store for you at Gracias a Dios, so definitely put this one on your must-do list.


Tours are available from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are $11-16 depending on which tour you want (the seagull tour or the tour borracho - drunk tour). For the extra four or five bucks you double up on the gin tastings and add extra mezcal tastings too.


For your convenience and for planning ahead, you can book your tour online at thankgad.com/en/tours. We booked our tour with secure Google pay in advance of our trip.


Note that children ARE allowed, but they do warn about dangerous/high-risk areas for the littles to be wandering about. We saw exactly why first hand when all the vats were boiling, the volcanic fire was raging, and sharp agave had been whacked to bits the day before for processing. But like I said...all those stories (y mas fotos!) in another article soon :-)


agave field after harvest

Another word of caution mentioned is to dress appropriately for walking in an agave field, where there are thorny plants, insects, and of course sun exposure.



Casa Embajador de Oaxaca

Ok, I cheated a bit by adding this to the list because it's moreso a restaurant than a palenque, however this great restaurant provides mezcal tasting opportunities to those who want it. It opens at 9am, so we went for breakfast on our first day en route to Monte Alban. They have American pancakes, eggs and bacon, fruit and of course chilaquiles, omelettes, etc. The cute atmosphere is very inviting, as is the playground for the littles!


leather barrel chairs in a tropical setting

Their mezcal operation is still cool though, so don't count it out because of it's status as a restaurant. See the tasting room, their antiques museum, and explore the colorful grounds.




Prearranged Oaxaca Mezcal Tours


This tour visits Mitla and Santiago Matatlan, the "world capital of mezcal". Indulge in a Oaxacan meal as part of the tour, as well as plenty of mezcal tastings.








Expect lunch and multiple stops on this all day small group tour.






This full day Oaxacan Mezcal Tour Visit A Family-Run Palenque, and one of the big boys too.






Stay in town and have your Oaxaca mezcal tasting paired with mole from the region. Starts at $76. A sommelier guides the way!









Another in-town tasting, this one skips out on the extra carbs and goes straight for the cocktails.






Another popular tour company that we saw all over the hotspots in Oaxaca is Las Bugambilias, if you want to give them a go directly.



Other Noteworthy Oaxaca Mezcal Tours and Distilleries We Didn't Get a Chance to Visit


In this section:



Fábrica de Mezcal Mal de Amor

This colorful palenque boasts a restaurant, immersive tour including a barrel bus ride to the fields, and lots of extras that you may not expect. This is a larger operation, definitely prepared to cater to tourists. Visiting through a tour is the most common, but you can also stop in on your own.


This blogger (I love his blog name) called Will Fly For Food wrote up a super descriptive post about this distillery, worth reading. If you want to go on the same tour he did, here's the link!


Beware: it seems like this particular tour involves a lot of drinking!


Mezcal Don Agave 

Visible from the road, this place offers lunch with mezcal tastings. Get their tlayudas, which are very popular, or their tasting plate! Bring an appetite.


As part of a tour/tasting, you will get 3 tastings. Optionally, make this part of a full day tour, which includes area sites.


Parador Turístico Real Matlatl Mezcalería

Another of the upmarket residences in Oaxaca's Mitla area, Real Matlatl sits in winery style fields, boasting pretty buildings and vistas, and luxury branding on the bottles.


El Rey de Matatlán

This well established mezcal distillery is located on the highway before you reach Tlacolula. It is definitely a tourist-centric roadside stop, but that's fine because it makes visiting easy and convenient. The colorful property has plenty to see and explore.


Visit El Rey de Matatlan, paired with a bakery visit and a few hours at Hierve el Agua. Starting at $50. Book Here.


Casa Cortés

Recommended by mezcal-savvy bartenders, this palenque gets a noteworthy mention here for tastings in Santiago Matatlan.


Mezcal Anador

Basically an in-town storefront palenque, this Mitla mezcal distillery is a good option for parking the car and wandering Mitla for a few hours. Pair it with a visit to the Mitla ruins, a nice lunch at Origen Maíz, and a stroll through the artisan market.


Fabrica de Mezcal "Olla Zapoteca"

This easy drive-up mezcal distillery serves up tons of charm, and of course, mezcal. Get the full experience and see the process on site of how everything is made.


Parador Casa Espadín - Mezcalería

Another of Oaxaca's many many mezcalerias, you'll find the same stuff happening here as elsewhere.


billboard for a distillery

Los Amantes Destileria

You can read more about this uber fancy hotel and wedding venue, that also happens to be a distillery, at their website. The Lovers Distillery definitely gets a second glance if you want an upmarket experience in Oaxaca.



For more about the mezcal making process as we learned it from the few palenques we visited, stay tuned in a separate thread. I'll also share the famous process of making pechuga mezcal, which features raw turkey breast and vegetables boiled over the distillation vats. Lastly, you'll hear about a behind the scenes look at making this special pechuga...with crab and oysters! Stay tuned and in the meantime, read up on the best restaurants in Oaxaca and where to get your shopping fix at the Oaxaca markets.
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