Women In The Tequila Industry: Melly Barajas

When Judy Rivera sought to make her own brand of tequila, she was determined to find a master distiller whose views and outlook were similar to hers.  It wasn’t long before she found Carmen Lucia Barajas Cárdenas–“Melly” to her friends–and Sino Tequila was born. Melly Barajas always intended to be a Tequila Boss Lady.  After … Read more Women In The Tequila Industry: Melly Barajas

From Babes to Boss Ladies

The title of this book “From Babes to Boss Ladies” is a reflection of the evolution of the perception of women in the tequila, and other Mexican spirits, industry over the past several decades.  

This book is being published in an effort to recognize, respect and pay tribute to the contributions of modern women in the industry and to destroy the stereotypes of the “Tequila Girl”.  Nothing in the text of this book could be implied or construed as disempowering to women. 

I first met outspoken botanist and author Ana Valenzuela in the mid-2000s on a trip to tequila distilleries in Jalisco, Mexico.  The respect and admiration this dynamo received from the male tequila producers and agaveros (agave farmers) for both her palate and plant acumen was awe inspiring.

I was determined to uncover more women in the tequila industry like her.  I figured I could learn something valuable from them that would improve my understanding of this complex world of tequila.

At that time, I was aware of only two others involved with tequila–

Carmen Villarreal and Ana Maria Romero Mena.  Both are included in this anthology.
Working Behind the Scenes
Unbeknownst to me, much like the Tequila Vinazas Crisis that I have previously exposed, women in the tequila industry were concealed from public view.

Marketing agencies hadn’t even considered advertising female master distillers as a selling point for tequila brands, preferring to concentrate instead on displaying scantily clad models.

In what was then a very male-dominated tequila industry, I had the feeling that there were women striving in the shadows waiting to be seen, heard, recognized and acknowledged.
A Woman’s Touch
Over these past few years, it has been gratifying to discover that there were plenty of women working in the Mexican spirits industries all along, guiding some of the most beloved tequila brands on the market.

And now, with the booming mezcal market and other Mexican spirits segments that have historically been inclusive of women, we are seeing more of them come to the forefront of their brands.
Pearls of Wisdom
In structuring the questionnaire, my mission was simple:  Ask what they’re happy with, or not, and what is their ultimate message–not just to women, but to all people.

What I found most interesting was in translating the Spanish only answers to English.  The more of these that I completed, the more I was gifted with a glimpse into each woman’s thought processes.

When I finished the translations, I realized that I had been handed pearls of wisdom and inspiration in each response.

Regardless of gender or language, there are lots of gems of knowledge included in the answers to our five simple questions.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all of the women in the Agave Spirits industries. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Profiled in this Volume:

Ana Maria Romero Mena
Dr. Ana Valenzuela-Zapata
Sophie Decobecq
Carmen Alicia Villarreal Treviño
Lisa Elovich
Graciela González Cortes
Lisa Barlow
Marie Sarita Gaytán
Cleo Rocos
Sarah Bowen
Kim Brandi
Judy Rivera
Melly Barajas
Anahí Rivera
Leticia Aceves Alvarez
Erika Vargas Flores
Terray Glasman
Jaclyn Jacquez
Barbara Sweetman
Karla Amtmann
Adriana Torres
Laura Espinoza Alonso
Elle France
Sofia Partida
Carey Clahan and Sydney Rainin-Smith
Isis Ramirez
Iliana Partida
Monica Sanita
Paola Basseliz
Ilana Edelstein

Tequila Aficionado Highlights 2018 with the Brands of Promise© Awards

Female Master Distillers Dominate in Distinct Agave Spirits Categories  For Immediate release! Tequila Aficionado Media 2018 Brands of Promise© Awards January, 15, 2019, San Antonio, TX—On Monday, January 14, 2019, in a LIVE Facebook Premier broadcast, Tequila Aficionado Media capped off a busy 2018 with its esteemed Sixth Annual Brands of Promise© Awards, acknowledging worthwhile labels of … Read more Tequila Aficionado Highlights 2018 with the Brands of Promise© Awards

2018 Brands of Promise Winners Announced

Tequila Aficionado Media is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Brands of Promise Awards in all categories:     Agave Spirit Award Porfidio Single 100% Agave Americana Edition [India] (S3xA) [40% ABV, 80 proof] Gold Aguardiente from Blue Agave (Distilled from Agave Spirit) Onilikan Aguardiente de Agave Azul (80 proof, 40% ABV) Gold … Read more 2018 Brands of Promise Winners Announced

Women In The Tequila Industry: Leticia Aceves Alvarez

Women In The Tequila Industry: Leticia Aceves Alvarez of @EmbajadorTquila Click To Tweet I first met Carmen Leticia Aceves Alvarez in July 2016, during my investigative visit to Fabrica Santa Rosa.  The distillery is responsible for such fan favorite tequilas as Alma de Agave, Crótalo, Cabresto, and their flagship brand, Embajador. At a round table … Read more Women In The Tequila Industry: Leticia Aceves Alvarez

From Babes to Boss Ladies: Women & Tequila

Tequila Aficionado Exclusive Series We’ve had a special place in our hearts for the unsung heroines and muses in tequila for a very long time.  After reading Ilana Edelstein’s The Patron Way, Mike & I felt it was time someone brought other women’s stories to light – and what better place to do that than … Read more From Babes to Boss Ladies: Women & Tequila

Women In The Tequila Industry: Judy Rivera

Judy Rivera, the latest Tequila Boss Lady to join our gallery, has figured out how to combine acute LA street smarts, a fearless entrepreneurial spirit, and artistic ingenuity into her Sino Tequila brand. A staunch women’s rights advocate, Judy contracted with a small, 100% female owned and operated distillery in the highlands of Jalisco–Vinos y Licores … Read more Women In The Tequila Industry: Judy Rivera