One With Life at Bracken Cave

 [From September 11 to October 2, 2016, Tequila Aficionado Media, sponsored by 34 expressions representing 21 brands, embarked on an epic RV road show dubbed, The Heartland Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and epic–highlights.  *FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.] 

Bat Fascination

One With Life at Bracken Cave http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x6From watching the campy Batman TV series, or seeing Michael Keaton’s classic Batman movie at least 8 times when it premiered back in 1989, or devouring vintage Dracula movies with Bela Lugosi, I’ve always been captivated by bats.

Despite my fascination with them, I’d only seen bats in captivity at zoos, or in film documentaries.  I’ve never actually seen them in the wild until our visit to Bracken Cave on the first leg of Tequila Aficionado’s 2016 Heartland Tour.

Bracken Cave, Texas

Also known as the Devil’s Sinkhole, it’s a mere 20 miles from San Antonio and houses the largest bat maternity colony in the world.  More than 15 million Mexican free-tail bats call Bracken Cave their summer home.

This enormous vertical cavern is considered to be the largest single-chamber cavern in Texas.  The opening is a shaft approximately 50 feet wide that drops 140 feet into the cavern.  The shaft then balloons to a diameter of over 320 feet and reaches a total depth of over 350 feet.

One With Life at Bracken Cave http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x6

Braken Cave:  The Largest Mammal Nursery on Earth

Every square foot of Bracken Cave is jam packed with gestating or nursing female bats (almost 500 per!) that return every March and April after wintering in Mexico, to give birth to their pups.

While it is the nectar feeding bats that service our beloved agaves, specifically One With Life at Bracken Cave http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x6the lesser long-nosed bat that the “Batman of Mexico,” Rodrigo Medellin, has so tirelessly championed, along with the Tequila Interchange Project’s “bat friendly” tequila and mezcal certification program, the Mexican free-tail variety also plays an important role in agriculture.

In fact, the estimated 100 million free-tail bats living in Central Texas caves eat approximately 1000 tons of insects and agricultural pests nightly at altitudes of anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 feet feeding primarily on the cotton boll-worm moth (a.k.a. corn ear worm moth) that alone costs American farmers up to a billion dollars annually.

Bats Are Dying, Part 2

As we mentioned in the above article written during last year’s Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour, not only is the industrialization of tequila and mezcal tampering with the bats’ migratory behavior, but a new killer, White-nose Syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans), is also a threat.

Known as WNS, it is a cold-loving white fungus found on the wings and faces of infected bats.  It causes bats to awaken too often during hibernation and to use up stored fat reserves while flying in winter.  These creatures usually freeze or starve to death.

One With Life at Bracken Cave http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x6

First detected in 2006 in a cave in New York, it is still a mystery as to how this disease has spread so quickly (7 bat species, 26 states and 5 Canadian provinces, and counting).  The national park system, however, is doing its part to cut down on the spread of this epidemic.

Later on in our Heartland Tour at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, also a home to bats, hikers were asked to walk onto a soap soaked carpet for several feet after a shortened cave tour.  It is believed that tourists who visit national parks could be inadvertently spreading WNS via footwear.

Bat-nado!

Witnessing the appearance of 4 million bats from a true bat cave is a sight like no other.

The first sign that alerts onlookers are the groups of Peregrine falcons that prey on the Mexican free-tails.  These birds instinctively know when the first nightly pilgrims dare to ascend.

Let’s just say that not every bat makes it out of Bracken Cave alive.

One With Life at Bracken Cave http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x6No flash photography is allowed so as not to upset the bats during their nightly emergence, and once photography is no longer possible, it’s time to just enjoy the phenomenon of the “bat-nado,” the counterclockwise vortex that the bats create when leaving the cave on their quest for food.

We stood wide eyed in quiet reverence as literally millions of bats flew overhead gathering speed and altitude to feed on the moths and insects that attack corn and cotton farms outside the city of San Antonio, and well beyond.

The fluttering of millions of pairs of wings sounded like rain lightly tapping on a tin roof.  The breeze created by their flight cooled the muggy air around us.

Just close your eyes and smile.

One With Life at Bracken Cave http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x6

Open your eyes and smile.

By the light of the half moon, the waves of bats disappeared like clouds of smoke over the tree tops of Bracken Cave reserve.

One With Life

Later that evening in the RV park, safely tucked away for the night, we selected One With Life certified organic tequila to toast our first magical experience on OWL_labelsthe Heartland Tour.

On the inside label of every batch of One With Life tequila there is a “tequila fortune cookie” or inspirational message.  Ours read–

“Wherever you go, be fully there.”

And, if you listen closely, you might even hear a bat flutter by.

***

Enjoy these few minutes of the bat emergence from Bracken Cave.

Open Bar #9 | One with Life Tequila

Open Bar with One with Life (OWL) Tequila, Monday April 18

 

 

*Please Note*

This is not a telephone call-in show. We will not answer our phones during the show.
If you would like to participate in this show, please click here.

One with Life Tequila on Tequila Aficionado www.tequilaaficionado.comOne With Life

One with Life Tequila (OWL) is part of a philosophy aligned with living a mindful and balanced life.  Grown and produced in an organic farm and distillery system in Jalisco, Mexico, it has a smooth, crisp and earthy taste that emulates the pure agave plant.

Enjoying One with Life Tequila, in moderation, reminds us to celebrate life with family and friends and appreciate the here and now.

So relax.  Be happy.  Be present.  Listen deeply.  Speak lovingly.  Smile, breathe, go slowly. 

Find One with Life Tequila Online | Facebook | Instagram

 

From the Website

OWL embraces the philosophy of consuming products that are grown and produced by organic farming, which excludes synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, genetically modified organisms and other artificial enhancements.

OWL has a smooth, crisp and earthy taste that emulates the pure agave plant from which it was created and it’s sweet scent alludes to a touch of citrus. It is this purity that makes OWL easy to sip or blend with your favorite beverages. Whether you are new to the tequila world, an aficionado, or a connoisseur, you will thoroughly enjoy our unique tasting spirit.

 

Tequila Aficionado Media Announces the 2015 Brands Of Promise Award Winners!

Honors Bestowed During LIVE Blab Webcast

For Immediate Release!

PLATINUMFINAL2015March 14, 2016, San Antonio, TXTequila Aficionado Media’s Third Annual 2015 Brands Of Promise© Awards were broadcast LIVE on Blab in Tequila, Mezcal and other assorted agave-related categories. See the full list of medal recipients here.

Among the brilliant stand outs of 2015, Ambhar Tequila took the Judges’ Best-of-Show accolade scoring highly in several categories. Recent upstarts GOZA and Papa Bueno also made significant showings.  In a surprise return to the Brands Of Promise© Reposado class, Del Bravo Spirits unanimously took the Platinum award with Route 66 tequila.

Legacy brands Orendáin, Milagro, Tequila 1921, Centinela and Herradura were well represented in both the High-End and Value segments, while Dulce Vida and Suerte convincingly cornered the Extra Añejo tequila market.

In what proved to be the toughest bracket for the judges to date, Malinalli Tequila swept the Platinum trophy in the hard fought Blanco division, with Ambhar, El Mayor, and Mamalón tequilas close on its heels.

The surging Mezcal classification was dominated by the popular Gracias A Dios brand, while Montelobos and Amarás collected Golds in each of their groups.

Gold Medal Winner Lisa Elovich, brand owner of Organic Tequila One With Life, was ecstatic, saying, “Thank you so much! It is such an honor to get this award. I know this will help us with marketing and distribution.” She graciously added, “Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners! So happy to be part of it!”

In an equally gracious statement made over their Instagram account, medal recipient Papa Bueno Tequila wrote, “We are honored to have been among this impressive group of nominees! We love tequila and congratulate all the winners and thank Tequila Aficionado for the time, humor and love they bring! Definitely Bueno!”

About the Brands Of Promise Awards

All brands were judged by Founder, Alex Perez and CEO, M.A. “Mike” Morales, as well as by other Tequila Aficionado staff, on how they performed during Tequila Aficionado’s wildly popular Sipping Off The Cuff™ video series seen regularly on TequilaAficionado.com and viewable on its YouTube channel.

Unlike other spirits contests, The Brands Of Promise™ Awards does not require participating agave spirit brands to pay an entry fee.  It also does not charge winners additional hefty licensing tariffs for the rights to use the medal award graphics on their labels, neck tags, shelf talkers, brochures, point-of-sales materials and websites.

For a full list of Brands Of Promise© winners, click here.

 

 

To enter your tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla, bacanora or other agave spirit or related product in the coveted Brands Of Promise™ Awards, click here.

2015 Brands of Promise Nominees: Special Categories

Special Categories

Watch the playlist below to see all our reviews of the 2015 Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise Nominees in the Special Categories.

Slide2 Special Categories

 

 

 

Who would you vote for?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Don’t Miss It:

LIVE 2015 Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise Award Show

We’ll be presenting our 3rd Annual Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise Awards LIVE on Blab.im on March 14, 2016!  If you don’t want to go all the way to Blab.im, just tune in to www.TequilaAficionado.com on the evening of March 14th and you can watch all the action there.  We’ll have the live feed set up, so bring your favorite nominee for sipping and enjoy the show!

See the red carpet pre-show with Mike & Lisa at 7pm CDT and then join Mike, Lisa and Alex for the award presentations beginning at 8pm CDT (Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward on Sunday, March 13.)

 

 

Women In The Tequila Industry: Lisa Elovich

FullSizeRender_LisaELisa Elovich is a relative newcomer to the tequila business.

Accompanied by a small army of family, staunch supporters and fans, and guided by some savvy tequila industry veterans, Her One With Life (OWL) organic tequila is gaining a firm foothold in her native New York state.

She is also no stranger to working–and thriving–in male dominated industries.

This mother of two has been a Parole Commissioner since 2007.  She served as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and was a Deputy Attorney General for the New York State Attorney General’s Office with a focus on juvenile justice and crime prevention programs.

If that wasn’t enough, Elovich was also at one time the state’s only licensed female professional boxing promoter!

Throughout her life experiences, Lisa has learned to remain present in the moment and the importance of balance.  Using her tequila brand as a vehicle, she imparts these lessons to all who enjoy One With Life.

Besides personally hand-selecting and test-tasting every batch in Mexico, each bottle is printed with a spiritual toast on the label and a special hidden quote inside.

Tequila Aficionado Media asked Ms. Elovich a handful of questions that, in the past, have been answered by our illustrious gallery of Women In The Tequila Industry.

Here’s what she had to say….

TA:  What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila Industry? 

LE:  I have never felt like being a woman in a male dominated industry is a negative factor.  I was the only licensed female boxing promoter in New York State for awhile and I found that for the most part, people really only care about the results you produce, quality of the product and one’s character.

The same holds true for being a woman in the tequila industry. 

TA:  How have you been able to change things within your industry?

LE:  I am new to the industry but I think that I can help with dissolving egos and collaborating rather than always competing.

I believe that when you help others try to succeed you are more likely to succeed yourself.

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

LE:  Women can bring a softer and more feminine perspective to the tequila world.

owl

One With Life Tequila’s niche is the health conscious female who enjoys organic products and the mild smooth taste of an ultra premium tequila

Now that high end tequilas are growing at a rapid pace, I think there will be more women entering the industry.

TA:  What things would you like to see changed?

LE:  I would like to see the smaller companies get more attention.OWL_labels

It should not only be about who can spend the most money but about quality of a product and its unique contribution to the tequila market.

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

LE:  I would recommend speaking with others that are already in the industry.  I was lucky enough to get advice from people who have founded tequila brands.  It is important to listen to people who have already been through the fire and come out the other side.  It is extremely labor intensive, time consuming and takes a lot of persistence.

For me it has been mostly trial by fire and sometimes I run into road blocks.  The key is to just stay focused and positive.  Work hard and have faith.  I encourage others to follow their passion and to not give up even when things get difficult.

It takes time and patience to build a brand.  Build it slowly and don’t get in over your head.

The most important thing is to enjoy the ride!  Tequila, like life, is supposed to be light hearted and fun!

One With Life Blanco Tequila Review

In this episode of Sipping off the Cuff, Mike & Alex taste and discuss organic One With Life (OWL) Tequila Blanco.

owl

 

About One with Life Tequila

One with Life Tequila (OWL) is part of a philosophy aligned with living a mindful and balanced life.  Grown and produced in an organic farm and distillery system in Jalisco, Mexico, it has a smooth, crisp and earthy taste that emulates the pure agave plant.

Enjoying One with Life Tequila, in moderation, reminds us to celebrate life with family and friends and appreciate the here and now.

So relax.  Be happy.  Be present.  Listen deeply.  Speak lovingly.  Smile, breathe, go slowly. 

One With Life Tequila (OWL) embraces the philosophy of consuming products that are grown and produced by organic farming, which excludes synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, genetically modified organisms and other artificial enhancements.

OWL has a smooth, crisp and earthy taste that emulates the pure agave plant from which it was created and it’s sweet scent alludes to a touch of citrus. It is this purity that makes OWL easy to sip or blend with your favorite beverages. Whether you are new to the tequila world, an aficionado, or a connoisseur, you will thoroughly enjoy our unique tasting spirit.