Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Again the Chamber of Commerce here in Cuenca has outdone themselves with arranging a very informative trip. Today they took a group of 20 folks to visit the main bottling and distributribution facility in Paute, a 40 minute bus ride.

When we arrived we were greeted by the two main gentlemen in charge of the facility.

We all were given hard hats and asked to please stay in the group and not wander off. It was explained how the liquid products were brought to the bottling facility and from there put into tanks. We were first shown the stainless steel tanks and told how many gazillion liters they held..

It was explained to us that water is a very important part of making a great tasting product. There are 5 different types of cleaning that the water goes through. The water comes originally from the mountain springs. They have it piped directly to the facilty!

Then the water is run through the clarifier.

Then filtered through sand and then through activated charcoal

and finally a reverse osmosis. And somewhere in there I missed the UV that the water is exposed to

We were taken to the lab and were shown all of their equipment. It was pointed out to us how detailed they are about checking for methanol. We had a horrible incident here in Ecuador with some bootleg alcohol that had massive amounts of methanol in it, so we were being educated on the stringent protocols to protect the consumer of their products. Zhumir did not have any problems with their products. They were very proud to state that they ship products to the U.S., parts of Europe, and Central America. Because of this, the standards for their products has to pass not only their own countries protocols, but also the countries that they ship to. 

We were shown the bottling machines and told that the little pint bottles were bottled at a rate of 60,000 an hour. The larger 750 ml bottles about 12-16K an hour. While we were there they were bottling a specialty Pina Colada bottles, These we were told take longer due to the need for more hands on by the bottling staff.

We all had a great time walking along the bottling lines. We were even let into the juice bottling area which is enclosed and all persons wear face coverings.

Zhumir has a wide range of alcoholic and non alcoholic products. They do a line of juice called Vivant, as well as they bottle Gatorade products. Here are some photos of the different products. Some of these products are specific to the countries they are shipped to.

After our tour inside the factory part of the facility we were taken into the "Cava".. or cave. Here they have a type of Reservado rum that they produce. There were five more rooms like this one.

After our tour we were all offered bottles of water, juice, and tea, as well as some home made Canelaso, and then we were all treated to another product that they make called Tacao..Oh Yum.. look out Baileys, I think you have some stiff competition in Ecuador.

Just before we left we were all gifted with a bottle of Pina Colada!

We were all impressed with how much time and detail they went into with us. It was very informative and fun. My view of the Zhumir products just took a 100% increase in respect.