La Noria, Mazatlan’s own Magic Town with a wine and mezcal traditions

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In the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the site runs through a landscape carpeted in green and on the way to the heart of La Noria is the Los Osuna Winery, where an artisanal tequila has been produced since the 19th century.

La Noria is a town located just over 30 kilometers from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, away from the tourist bustle, the sand and the big hotels. La Noria is the magical town of the Pacific.

In the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the site runs through a landscape carpeted in green and on the way to the heart of La Noria is the Los Osuna Winery, where an artisan tequila has been produced since the 19th century.

Five generations have produced this tequila made with the blue agave, a natural plant from Sinaloa. The place still presents the rudimentary forms with which the agave was distilled, including the old ovens and a kind of huge roller that was moved by an animal. Although production has been modernized, it is still done in a traditional way. Â The wine is stored in American oak barrels.

Los Osuna tequila is exported to countries such as Australia, the United States and Canada and recently one of its products won a double gold medal as the best reposado tequila.

Further in front of the winery is the town of La Noria, a place with less than 800 inhabitants. This place was once a passage for the Spanish and muleteers for the mines and that is why, the locals say, the town was born.

The site is home to several artisans who specialize in saddlery: the art of making leather objects, such as huaraches, belts, bags or saddles. Here everyone learns from everyone and the teaching is passed down from generation to generation. Such is the case of Juan Antonio Salas Lizárraga, owner of the local Johnny, his father taught him art and his own father taught him and so on, respectively. Juan Antonio has 32 years in the trade and says that he started at the age of 15. At that age my father told me, you are coming here and I have continued here.

The workshop is essentially a 40 square meter premises where leather is abundant, which comes from León, Guanajuato. Juan has specialized in making huaraches and belts, although he also makes masks on request.

At 10 meters is Roberto Morán Osorno. He learned from Juan’s father and later became independent. He now teaches his son when he leaves class. Roberto has specialized in making saddles, which are bought from him from Chihuahua and Culiacán.

I make about 15 chairs a month and about 20 belts, he says. His father also taught him and says he was the best at packing leather bags. I don’t have enough time, I also make masks, he mentions. A chair sells for 2,500 pesos in wholesale and also usually makes the so-called cheek pads, which are a kind of belts that are hung on the man and where the bottle of tequila and the so-called caballitos are placed.

The main clients of these businesses are the same tourists who come here