With roots dating back several thousands of years ago to ancient Aztec times, Día de los Muertos is now a time for telling stories, sharing food, gathering, and celebrating. A wonderful way for people to keep lost loved ones alive in spirit by celebrating their lives and the things they loved. Celebrate this beloved holiday in Wine Train style: with the finest tequila, Casa Dragones, and incredible authentic Mexican fare from Chef Luis “Lucho” Arellano, of Criollo in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Prepare yourself for an incredible journey through the beautiful Napa Valley landscape and the flavours of Mexico courtesy of an inventive tasting menu, four creative courses that are inspired, fresh, and beautifully plated. Your passage begins with the warmest of welcomes: a Signature Welcome Cocktail featuring Tequila Casa Dragones. To call Tequila Casa Dragones premium is an understatement. Hints of vanilla and spiced undertones. Delicate notes of pear. Clean, warm finish. Its complex, smooth taste makes it perfect for sipping, and pairing with food. It’s no wonder it’s the culinary darling of the tequila world. It has several times been named one of Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things, and it soon will be one of yours, too.
Enjoy a Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco shot, and to add to the atmosphere, the Spanish music that fills the air thanks to a DJ onboard. On Día de los Muertos, families make altars or ofrendas to decorate with marigolds, ornate sugar skulls, photos, and items loved by their loved ones as part of their celebration. Onboard the Wine Train, we’ll have an Altar de Muertos, a Day of the Dead Altar, of our own where you will enjoy a Día de las Muertos Tequila Casa Dragones Jovan shot. One sip and it’s easy to see why tequila is essential to the social fabric of Mexico. The perfect end to your special Día de los Muertos journey.
About Casa Dragones
Hailing from the ideal terroir, the perfect combination of rich soil, perfect climate, and just the right altitude. Personally selected plants, matured to perfection and harvested by hand. Resting in oak barrels for five years. This might sound more like a winery than a tequila distillery, but you’d be wrong. Just like signature winemaking appellations like Champagne and Bordeaux, Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, lays claim to the famous Mexican spirit. But this is not the tequila of sugary fuelled margaritas. You can leave your lime wedges and salt shakers at home, because Tequila Casa Dragones is meant to be sipped. Savored. And lingered over.
Tequila Casa Dragones is a small batch, luxury tequila producer crafted in Jalisco, Mexico, with meticulous attention to detail. The 100% Pure Blue Agave tequilas are the World’s #1 Sipping Tequila, giving the celebrated spirit a spot on the top shelf alonside coveted single-malt Scotch and fine whiskey. Just as you should take your time savoring Tequila Casa Dragones, they take their time making it, producing no more than 500 cases per batch. It all begins with the centuries-old art of tequila making modernized through an innovative state-of-the-art, sustainable process of elaboration. The results are tequilas that defy the ordinary.
Meticulous attention to detail, right down to the black ribbon hand-tie around the neck of each bottle. Each crystal bottle of Casa Dragones is hand-crafted by skilled artisans and signed, numbered, and hand engraved using the traditional Mexican technique of “pepita” by one of the few Mexican artisans skilled at this magnificent technique.
Meet the Maker, Bertha González Nieves
The first time Bertha González Nieves saw an agave field, she fell in love with the industry. A passion you can nearly taste in each sip of Tequila Casa Dragones. An entrepreneur with a career rooted in the consumer luxury goods industry, González Nieves was identified by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in Mexico. Her extensive, unparalleled knowledge of the industry and singular vision to revolutionize tequila led her on a journey to create a style of tequila with a profile unlike any other—Tequila Casa Dragones Joven, a limited-edition, uniquely smooth sipping tequila made in small batches with meticulous attention to detail. And in an industry dominated by men, she has been certified as the first female Maestra Tequilera by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila, the organization recognized by The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).
The tequila’s name, Casa Dragones comes from the elite cavalry, the Dragones, whose passion sparked Mexico’s independence. Safe to say, González Nieves is blazing trails of her own, taken the familiar spirit to new and very luxurious heights.
Meet the Chef, Chef Luis “Lucho” Arellano
The first surprise when you enter Criollo is that the entrance is through the kitchen. When you arrive, you see cooks working putting food right where it should be: front and center. It is here where your experience beings, in a simple traditional white house of Calzada Madero, at the latest gastronomic stop in the celebrated culinary destination of Oaxaca, Mexico. A venture started by Chef Luis Arellano, in partnership with Enrique Olvera, Criollo offers the most traditional dishes and ingredients of Mexican cuisine. The team at Criollo shares Arellano’s passion: to know more about traditional Mexican cuisine and take it to a place where you can take advantage of ingredients in front of you.
Originally from the region of la Cañada, in Oaxaca, Chef Arellano’s culinary journey began working in his parents’ bakery. His interest sparked a curiosity in the kitchen, taking a formal step in a gastronomic career in 2006 as Sous Chef at the famous restaurant Casa Oaxaca, and later at Pujol. Considered one of the best restaurants in the world, Pujol extols the virtues of Mexican cuisine, taking them to a level of avant-garde and infinite creativity. Chef Arellano has participated in important dinners and festivals in Mexico, Spain, Berlin, New York, and France. Until 2015, he was in charge of the creative part of the Enrique Olvera group, always looking for the preservation of the Mexican gastronomic culture, heritage of humanity.
Currently, Chef Arellano provides advice to several restaurants and works on two projects: research and distribution of endemic products from the state of Oaxaca to make constant use of local ingredients to support the economy and development of this wonderful state of the Republic and in his own restaurant, Criollo, a tribute to high quality, seasonal ingredients of Oaxaca.