After a tiring day of meetings and visiting key accounts in Austin, TX, Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for family owned Embajador Tequila, was kind enough to visit with us in our San Antonio offices of Tequila Aficionado Media. Over pizza and pours of Embajador reposado, Andres shared some insights into the SIP Award winning tequila brand.
We Are Family
In this clip, Andres tells how he and his wife, Esmeralda, first became involved with the estate grown Embajador tequila, as well as some of the symbolism depicted on the bottle.
Relentless in his pursuit of proper preparation, Andres discusses the value of continuing education. He also reveals that by working with famed Maestra Tequilera, Ana Maria Romero Mena, he has improved his tasting techniques in the field, and has amped up his appreciation for the entire tequila process.
In this snippet, Andres shares how he separates Embajador tequila from the rest of the pack when visiting potential customers.
Slow And Steady
A handful of well known brands already come from the distillery (NOM 1509), but Andres has no illusions of what it will take to make its flagship Embajador tequila successful.
Savvy Guerilla Marketing
Aside from entering carefully selected tasting competitions like the SIP Awards, Andres has also sought unique ways to help promote Embajador.
Embajador tequila signature cocktails are featured prominently on the brand’s website including a whimsical drink inspired by and dedicated to popular Latino stand-up comic, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, himself a fan of Embajador.
The family has also partnered with Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan one of the hottest mariachi groups in Mexico. As they travel globally, these talented mariachis bestow special bottles of Embajador (ambassador, in Spanish) to foreign dignitaries at each Mexican embassy they visit.
Additionally, understanding the value in being a start up company, Embajador was a sponsor of the female led indy film Salt, Liquor, Lime in which they received prominent product placement.
Here, Andres relates the extent of the family’s long term commitment even in the midst of the current agave shortage, as well as a scoop on an upcoming release to its line of award winning expressions. [Spoiler Alert!]
Not To Go Wide, But To Go Deep
Andres Garcia expresses the family’s philosophy on the future of Embajador tequila.
It’s obvious that the family is building more than just a brand. They are creating a legacy that is focused on producing quality tequila.
“After all,” concludes Andres Garcia, “tequila is Mexico and we are proud to be one of its Ambassadors.”
In the 2010 industry classic special report entitled Tequila Appreciationfor USA Today, it listed five tequila trends to watch. Here, we’re focusing on one of them…
The role of women in the tequila industry.
The report predicted that more women, in particular Latina/Hispanic women with family ties to agave growers and tequila producers, would join the ranks of tequila brand owners and also become influential in other areas of this traditionally male dominated industry.
Current numbers suggest that 70 percent of new businesses are started by women and that 20 percent of new home sales are driven by single women. It’s no secret that Hispanics and Latinos are also the largest US minority, either.
Up to 85 percent of the buying market is women. This translates to $5-$7 trillion dollars every year! It’s no wonder that the Spirits Industry, and particularly the tequila segment, is finally taking notice.
Statue of Mayahuel in Tequila.
We asked a short list of five questions to prominent women leading the charge for change in the Tequila Industry and beyond. As you’ll read, it hasn’t been all margaritas and roses for these tequila boss ladies.
We begin our series of Women In The Tequila Industry with Maestra Tequilera, Ana Maria Romero Mena. You can read a brief summary of her accomplishments in our earlier article on Tequila Boss Ladies.
[Editor’s note: For the convenience of our interviewee and our Spanish speaking audience, this article is in both English and Spanish.]
Maestra Tequilera, Ana Maria Romero Mena.
TA: How would you describe your experiences as a high ranking woman in your position in a primarily male dominated industry?
(¿Cómo describiría sus experiencias como una mujer de alto rango en su posición en una industria dominada principalmente masculina?)
ARM: [My experiences have been] dynamic, enriching, and in constant evolution despite the tequila industry having a long history and a bright future. There’s lots to do in the arena of research and innovation.
(Dinámicas, enriquecedoras y en constante evolución, a pesar de ser una industria con un largo pasado y un gran futuro; hay mucho que hacer en el campo de la investigación y de la innovación.)
The dynamic experience [has been] because it’s an industry in expansion in that the study of new forms of interpreting tequila by the [olfactory] senses are different due to culture, age and sex [of the individual]; enriching because there’s so much to learn from those men who are behind every bottle, from the [brand] owner to the jimador, have been generous in imparting their experiences [to me]; and in constant evolution because the markets have globalized and they permit the generation of new strategies for the positioning of Tequila. Finally, I’d like to say that [the industry] is male dominated but not male chauvinistic.
Romero Mena and actor, Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy.
(La experiencia dinámica es porque es una industria en expansión en la que el estudio de nuevas formas de interpretar al tequila desde los sentidos son diferentes debido a la cultura, la edad y el sexo; enriquecedoras porque hay mucho que aprehender de esos hombres que están detrás de cada botella, desde el dueño hasta el jimador, han sido generosos en compartir sus experiencias y en constante evolución porque los mercados se globalizan y nos permiten generar nuevas estrategias para el posicionamiento del Tequila, para finalizar me gustaría decir que es masculina pero no machista.)
TA: How have you been able to change things within your industry?
(¿Cómo han sido capaces de cambiar las cosas dentro de su industria?)
ARM: By studying the behavior of the industry in all its arenas, detecting areas of opportunity, completing the research of that opportunity and presenting it for the betterment of the industry as in the case [of the investigation] of the aromas of tequila, where its source was placed in accordance with its behavior in the development of the sensorial profiles of tequila and then delivered to the mind of the consumer by means of the cata (tasting).
Romero Mena in the agave fields.
(Estudiando el comportamiento de la industria en todas sus aéreas, detectando aéreas de oportunidad, realizando la investigación de esa oportunidad y presentándola para el mejoramiento de la industria, como lo fue la investigación de los aromas del tequila, su procedencia para ubicarlos de acuerdo a su comportamiento en el desarrollo de perfiles sensoriales del tequila y llevarlos a la mente de los consumidores por medio de la cata.)
TA: What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?
(¿Qué ves como el futuro de las mujeres que trabajan en la industria del Tequila?)
ARM: It is a full future that allows us to not only grow personally and professionally, but to also leave a legacy for the new generations of women in which innovation will be the key [word].
(Es un futuro pleno, que nos permitirá no solo desarrollarnos personalmente y profesionalmente, si no dejar un legado para las nuevas generaciones de mujeres en las que la innovación será la palabra clave.)
TA: What things would you like to see changed?
(¿Qué cosas gustaría cambiado? )
ARM: To give women more opportunities in positions of higher responsibility and decision making [since] we still share only a minimal portion of those positions.
(Darles mayores oportunidades en puestos de gran responsabilidad y toma de decisiones a las mujeres, todavía compartimos en un porcentaje mínimo en esos puestos.)
Maestra Tequilera, Ana Maria Romero Mena
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?
(¿Existe algo que le gustaría decir a las mujeres que pueden estar contemplando entrar y trabajar en la industria del Tequila en una forma u otra?)
ARM: It’s a fascinating industry [and] one must get to know it in all its facets, visit and study the different distilleries, the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) and the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (CNIT); get to know its regulations (normas), certify yourself in the desired area of opportunity, e.g.: Maestra Tequilera, Maestra Destiladora; to be at the forefront [vanguard] of the advances and news that generates its dynamism and above all, to be passionate about your work. Knowledge is the key that opens all the doors to opportunities.
(Es una industria fascinante, hay que conocerla en todas sus variables, visitar y estudiar las diferentes destilerías, el Consejo Regulador del Tequila y La Cámara Nacional de la Industria Tequilera, conocer su normatividad, certificarse en el área de oportunidad deseada, por ejemplo Maestra Tequilera, Maestra Destiladora, estar a la vanguardia de los avances y noticias que genera su dinamismo y sobre todo apasionarse por su trabajo. Ya que el conocimiento es la llave que abre todas las oportunidades.)
We do not purchase all the spirits we review here. Some we receive from the brand owner, some we receive from the distributor, and some we receive through PR companies. Some spirits we purchase ourselves.