Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2019

Home as an artifact… and Tequila!

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Arturo Lomeli, the founder of the tequila brand Clase Azul, is restoring a house in San Miguel de Allende, with the aim of promoting Mexican culture and his tequila.

The traditional house is built around an interior patio. CreditClase Azul Spirits

Arturo Lomeli, the founder of the tequila brand Clase Azul, is restoring a house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with the aim of promoting Mexican culture and his tequila. The traditional house is built around an interior patio.
Arturo Lomeli, the founder of the tequila brand Clase Azul, is restoring a house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with the aim of promoting Mexican culture and his tequila. The traditional house is built around an interior patio.CreditCreditClase Azul Spirits

By Shivani Vora

Arturo Lomeli says the Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende “is one of the most photogenic places I have ever seen.”

He loves the community so much that in December, he bought an 1806 home there and has hired a team of architects, designers and skilled workers to restore it.

But Mr. Lomeli, the founder of the tequila brand Clase Azul and a resident of Los Angeles, does not plan to move in. Instead, he intends to use the house to promote Mexican culture and his tequila, offering consumers the chance to paint the handmade bottles his tequila is sold in.

A Mexican artisan takes 11 days to make each bottle. The process involves mixing soils to create a base that’s poured into a cask mold, polished, glazed, painted and baked in an oven heated to more than 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We want people to keep these bottles forever and reuse them as vases, lamps and other decorative objects,” Mr. Lomeli said.

Restoring his house in San Miguel de Allende, which has Unesco World Heritage designation, has required similar handiwork.

The city, in the mountains about 170 miles north of Mexico City, was once under the radar, but is now a mainstay for tourists and has drawn international hotel companies, including Belmond and Rosewood, to open properties there.The home has 28-inch-thick adobe walls, high curved ceilings and wrought-iron balconies, and the owner plans to stock it with sculptures, paintings, photography and other works by Mexican artists.CreditClase Azul Spirits

The home has 28-inch-thick adobe walls, high curved ceilings and wrought-iron balconies, and the owner plans to stock it with sculptures, paintings, photography and other works by Mexican artists.
The home has 28-inch-thick adobe walls, high curved ceilings and wrought-iron balconies, and the owner plans to stock it with sculptures, paintings, photography and other works by Mexican artists.CreditClase Azul Spirits

The Clase Azul house is expected to open to the public by late summer.

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