Tequila Aficionado Heartland Tour

Heartland Tour

HeartlandTour sidebar, heartland, tequila aficionadoWe’re planning to hit the road again this fall and we’re taking this trip in a whole new direction.  Our last trip was all about the great Southwest and the photo ops available there for Tequilas and mezcals, but this tour will be different – we’re going straight for the Heartland.

What We’ll Do

On this tour, we’ll be traveling north from Texas to the Twin Cities to share some agave love in those states in between.  From there, we’ll explore pairing with Wisconsin Cheeses and Michigan apples.

All along the way, we expect to have plenty of pairing and photo ops for agave spirit brands that want to come along and we’re fine tuning all our networks to share as much of the experience as we can through live Facebook video, YouTube video, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and more.  This means epic, out-of-the-box content for the brands who choose to come with us.

How To Get In On It

If we’ve reviewed your brand and nominated it for or awarded it with a Brands of Promise Award, we’d love to have it on board for this tour that promises the best the American Heartland has to offer.

For details on the social content packages that we plan to provide for brands during this tour, contact Lisa@TequilaAficionado.com.

Bullying in Tequila?

By now, many of you have seen or read the following story that first appeared in the Chinese press and was then regurgitated by the Mexican newspapers, followed by this video report concerning the alleged shutdown and supposed seizure of over a million liters of tequila at the Embajador distillery (NOM 1509) located in Atotonilco, Jalisco Mexico.

 

Recently, a concerned tequila brand owner emailed us the following:

 

“Curious–in your opinion do you think they [COFEPRIS (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios)  and SAT (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria)] might be just flexing muscle?  Wonder if some of it was just paperwork and getting blown out of proportion?  …Nothing surprises me, anymore.”

 

Whether you’re a consumer or a tequila brand owner, you’d be correct in asking these same questions.

 

And, since you asked…

 

To me, this is clearly a case of government agencies bullying an up-and-coming player poised to enter the Asian market.

 

 

Here’s why I think that–

 

My sources tell me that the family-owned distillery has had a clean track record without a single citation in over 15 years.  Moreover, in the past year or two, the family has made a number of improvements and investments to the distillery in order to compete effectively in Asia, with a focus on China.

 

Oddly, the news broke almost immediately in the Chinese press with an exact list of the seemingly minor infractions and liters of tequila “seized.”

 

Why was it not reported in the Mexican press, first?  How did China scoop Mexico in its own backyard?

 

 

Realistically, the amount of seized juice could be estimated to have a wholesale value of $10 million dollars, and a retail value of exponentially much more.

 

Why would a family-owned tequila distillery suddenly become so careless with a process that is very near and dear to them?

 

In my opinion, this whole situation reeks of a deliberate and malicious act to not only bully the family-owned distillery, but to also smear its reputation locally, and potentially, globally.

 

The aforementioned sources also claim that no tequila  was physically seized, carted away or even dumped.  Customarily, the minor infractions that were meticulously listed in the news reports would only garner a fair warning and would never warrant such a full blown assault on any tequila producing factory.

 

Strong arming Embajador Tequila and making it a sacrificial lamb to justify the existence of an illusory campaign against illegally produced tequila is simply bad politics.

 

My research reveals that the Embajador distillery is working closely with the CRT. 

 

It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds.

Open Bar with Nocaut Reserva Tequila

Join Mike & Lisa on Open Bar with Nocaut Reserva Tequila – a former champion that has come out of retirement for a comeback!

 

Don’t be fooled by imitators!

This is the original Nocaut Tequila from NOM 1459.

tesla

Find Nocaut Reserva Online

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Organic Tequilas To Be Certified By CRT

organic tequilas, tequila aficionado Certified Organic Tequilas

The CRT has announced that it is going to become the certifying authority for organic tequilas.  While preparing to film Sipping off the Cuff, we discussed what this could mean for the industry and raised some questions as to how this may affect smaller producers as well as the legitimacy of the organic certification.

The CRT officially gets into the organic #agave segment as a certifying agency.

Posted by M A Mike Morales on Friday, April 8, 2016

What does Mike think?

Tequila Aficionado’s Mike Morales answers some questions:

From Tequila Aficionado: Organic Tequilas To Be Certified By CRT http://ift.tt/20qb4o0

Posted by M A Mike Morales on Saturday, April 9, 2016

What are your thoughts on the CRT putting the other certifying authorities out of business and taking this role?

Lisa Barlow VIDA

Women In The Tequila Industry: Lisa Barlow

One of the more intriguing Tequila Boss Ladies, is the brains–and grace–behind Vida Tequila, Lisa Barlow.

A contestant on Last Tequila Standing, and a participating brand during our 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour, Ms. Barlow works tirelessly to keep Vida’s image and flavor fresh and consistent.

Aside from being a Woman In The Tequila Industry, Lisa was also a partner in one of the most celebrated restaurants in Park City, Utah, called Silver.  Up until June 2015, it hosted wildly popular events that were the hottest tickets to come by during the star-studded Sundance Film Festival.  In 2016, a pop-up Vida Tequila Lounge continued that tradition at Sundance.

A triple threat, this wife and mother of two also runs a marketing firm based in future VIDA ownersNew York.  Lisa Barlow makes working her businesses seem effortless, and does it all with flawless style.

Here are her thoughts on our customary handful of questions.

***

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?

LB:  I have never felt as though the challenges in the spirits industry stem from being a woman.  I have a strong vision for VIDA and a strong business acumen.  I like being in an arena where I am constantly challenged and the spirits industry gives me that opportunity.

Man or woman, it really doesn’t matter; what matters is that you are on point and doing the right things for your business.  Being a mother of two boys, I think its a great example for them to see me work hard at our family business.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

VidaLogo

LB:  One always hopes they are making a difference.

When we launched in 2007 there were less than 400 tequila brands in the USA.  For me it was important that the brand had a clear vision and an authentic one.  Your customers feel your passion.  It engages them into your product and drives them to search for more information, which helps the category.

I love what I do.  I really wanted to integrate things that were important to me into our brand.  We launched with a beautiful white package that was very Lisa_Vidadifferent from the bright colors and busy boxes we were seeing on the store shelves.

I also incorporated my vision of what tequila should be in early advertisements; tequila is modern, sophisticated.

We had campaigns that said “NO WORM, JUST ROCKS,” or “VIDA COUTURE” moving VIDA away from the cliches and stereotypes.  This is one thing and those things take time and [it] was challenging in the beginning.

[It is] much easier to launch a brand today with how much education is now available, that was not there when we launched.

Being able to make a great tequila is beautiful.  Everything from the plant to the process is bold.  To be able to take this into the USA and other countries and grow the category is huge.  I am very involved because I love what we produce and our brand, VIDA.

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

LB:  As the category continues to rise, so will the number of women who work within the category and the roles they play.  From Distiller to CEO, I think there will be a lot of growth and changes on multiple levels.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?lisa headshot

LB:  This is a tough question.

There is an art to making tequila.  From start to finish; to me it’s beautiful.  The rich history of this spirit is in Mexico – it’s important to maintain this.

Within any industry, it’s important to make sure that production and distribution are continually evaluated.

Change is good, always.  We are constantly trying to evolve and put our focus on a global future.

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?

LB:  Its an amazing industry to be a part of.  Have a clear plan and go for it.

Open Bar with Senor Rio Tequila

Up close and personal with Señor Rio tequila.

Up close and personal with Señor Rio tequila.

Join us this evening as Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch talk with the founders of Senor Rio Tequila about their tequila and other products they’re bringing to market from the Senor Rio family.

Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina, co-founders of Jalisco International Imports, Inc., met in business and they first built a friendship which turned into love. They discovered that they had mutual interests and passions. One that they decided to pursue was their love for tequila, but why Senor Rio tequila?

It all begins with estate grown 100% blue weber agaves cultivated in the ideal conditions of the arid red clay soil from the low lands in Jalisco Mexico, The pinas (the hearts of the agave plants) are harvested by hand after reaching maturity. They are then slowly cooked in traditional stone ovens. After being cooked, they are fermented with the tanks open so that the fragrance from the fruit trees, which surround the distillery, blends into the tequila naturally for a hint of tropical citrus. Finally, the tequila is double distilled by their master distiller to keep the true agave flavor of their premium tequila.

Senor Rio Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Women In The Tequila Industry: Graciela González Cortes

ElMayortequila-ambassadorsThe latest Tequila Boss Lady to join our gallery of famed Women In The Tequila Industry is Graciela González Cortes of the family owned El Mayor tequila.

More than just her family’s brand ambassador, she is also a co-owner of Destiladora González González (NOM 1143) and a fourth generation Master Distiller herself.

Over 125 years of hard work by the González clan has gone into perfecting the art of growing agave and distilling tequila, with Graciela, her brother Paul, and their father, Don Rodolfo working closely to make El Mayor–a 2015 Brand Of Promise(c) winner–widely acclaimed and heavily sought after.

Tequila Aficionado Media asked Ms. González our standard handful of questions.  For her convenience, and that of our Spanish speaking audience, this interview is published in both English and Spanish.

el mayor

***

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?)

GG:  My experiences have been very gratifying [rewarding] since it is this same GG_ElMayorposition that has allowed me to learn and to increase my knowledge in order to globalize [expand] them within the industry.

It’s satisfying to experience, step-by-step, the opening [opportunities] for women in this field, even though it is primarily male dominated.

(Muy gratificantes, ya que la misma posición me ha permitido aprender y acrecentar mis conocimientos para globalizarlos en la industria.

(Es satisfactorio vivir paso a paso la apertura de la mujeres en este ámbito aunque aun sea dominada principalmente por hombres.)

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

(¿Cómo han sido capaces de cambiar las cosas dentro de su industria?)

GG:  To be honest, I’m not sure that I’ve changed anything, but I’m definitely working on it.

One of my major dreams is to get people to appreciate the years of arduous work that exists behind every bottle of tequila and to transmit the passion my family, our team and I put into each product.

(Para ser honesta, no se si he logrado algún cambio pero definitivamente estoy trabajando en ello.

(Uno de mis mayores sueños es lograr que la gente sepa apreciar los años de arduo trabajo que existen de tras de cada botella de Tequila, poder transmitir la pasión que mi familia nuestro equipo y yo ponemos en encada producto.)

elmayor

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?)

GG:  Very good and promising.

Actually, women’s participation within the industry is growing incrementally in different parts [aspects] of the process.  From the fields, tasting panels, bottling and administration.

It’s gratifying being a part of these changes and to witness, day-by-day, how the doors are opened for us women.

(Muy bueno y prometedor. 

(Actualmente la participación de la mujeres dentro de la industria va en incremento en diferentes partes del proceso.  Desde el campo, panel de catado, embazado y administración.

LMAYORambassadors-cortes(Es gratificante poder ser parte de este cambio y presenciar como día a día se abren mas las puertas para nosotras las mujeres.)

TA:  What things would you like to see changed?

(¿Qué cosas gustaría cambiado?)

GG:  I’d like to see the volumes of tequila in more countries.  That its presence increases incrementally worldwide so that more people can take delight in Tequila’s unequaled flavor.

To take the tradition and grandiose Mexican culture throughout the world with just a sip of this majestic spirit.

(Me gustaría que los volúmenes del Tequila estuvieran concentrados en mas países.  Que su presencia incrementara globalmente para que así mas personas pudieran deleitase con el inigualable sabor del Tequila.

(Llevar la tradición y grandiosa cultura Mexicana por todo el mundo, con tanGG_ElMayorToast solo un sorbo de esta majestuosa bebida espirituosa.)

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?)

GG:  Yes, definitely do it.

In my experience it’s an industry filled with challenges, but more than anything, rewards.  For women, these include, day-by-day, more participation, acknowledgement and respect.

I invite you to form part of this passionate industry!

(Si, que definitivamente lo hagan.

(En mi experiencia es una industria llena de retos pero mas que nada gratificaciones.  La cual es incluyente con las mujeres, día a día tenemos mas participación, reconocimiento y respeto.

(Las invito a formar parte de esta apasionante industria!)

Open Bar #6 Andres Garcia of Embajador Tequila

Embajadores-3, EmbajadorOpen Bar #6

During Tequila Aficionado’s Open Bar #6, Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch talk to Andres Garcia of Embajador Tequila about his recent visit to the USA Trade Tasting in New York City, his Level 3 Catador class with Ana Maria Romero Mena, and how he is expanding his brand’s market footprint.

Visit Embajador Online

Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram

From their website:

We are a family who is motivated and inspired by the idea of crafting superior quality and distinguished Tequila. Embajador is produced in small batches to focus on the brands consistency and quality principles. We produce Embajador using only 100% Blue Weber Agave that is grown on our estate located in Atotonilco in the highlands
(Los Altos) of Jalisco, Mexico. This region in the valley of the Highlands of Jalisco is distinctive with its nutrient rich soil, along with a natural spring water aquifer that runs through our land, which is the essence that gives Embajador its distinguished characteristics.

We will not sacrifice the honored value of our methods or the superiority of our Agaves for mass production. We will not cut corners to meet new demand and boost the bottom lines. Our handcrafted methodology and patience is honored and fully committed to producing superior quality Tequila.

Our goal is to craft a brand that will always be consistent in aroma, taste and quality. We want Embajador Tequila to be here for generations to come, some 200+ years. The dedicated commitment to quality measures at each step of the production of Embajador is one that will define our core strategic sales and marketing goals. We will establish Embajador for steady growth in the high-end premium category over the next 3, 5 and 10 years.

This is not a sprint race for us, but more of a marathon and we are taking the proper steps to condition ourselves to achieve a strong successful presence in the US and Global market within the High-End Premium Tequila Category.   

After all, we are the Embajador (Ambassador) of Mexico.

 

Open Bar with Andres Garcia of Embajador

Join us for Open Bar #6 with Embajador Tequila on Monday!

Embajadores-3, embajador, tequila, andres garciaMonday evening at 7pm Central, Andres Garcia will be joining Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch for a chat about Embajador Tequila.  Andres has been hard at work at some recent big shows, just returned from a visit to Mexico to take the famed class from Maestra Ana Maria Romero Mena, and he’s also been building his team and expanding the number of markets in which his family’s tequila is available.

Join us as we discuss these and other topics with him on our weekly Open Bar show on Blab.im.

Follow Embajador Online

WebsiteFacebookGoogle+TumblrTwitter | YouTube PinterestInstagram 

About The Family

We are a family who is motivated and inspired by the idea of crafting superior quality and distinguished Tequila. Embajador is produced in small batches to focus on the brands consistency and quality principles. We produce Embajador using only 100% Blue Weber Agave that is grown on our estate located in Atotonilco in the highlands
(Los Altos) of Jalisco, Mexico. This region in the valley of the Highlands of Jalisco is distinctive with its nutrient rich soil, along with a natural spring water aquifer that runs through our land, which is the essence that gives Embajador its distinguished characteristics.

We will not sacrifice the honored value of our methods or the superiority of our Agaves for mass production. We will not cut corners to meet new demand and boost the bottom lines. Our handcrafted methodology and patience is honored and fully committed to producing superior quality Tequila.

Our goal is to craft a brand that will always be consistent in aroma, taste and quality. We want Embajador Tequila to be here for generations to come, some 200+ years. The dedicated commitment to quality measures at each step of the production of Embajador is one that will define our core strategic sales and marketing goals. We will establish Embajador for steady growth in the high-end premium category over the next 3, 5 and 10 years.

This is not a sprint race for us, but more of a marathon and we are taking the proper steps to condition ourselves to achieve a strong successful presence in the US and Global market within the High-End Premium Tequila Category.  

After all, we are the Embajador (Ambassador) of Mexico.

 

What is Blab?

Blab is a livestreaming platform that enables a public video chat among four participants at a time. If you are familiar with the likes of Periscope, Meerkat and Google Hangouts, it basically combines all three. 

Viewers come in to watch the livestream and they can participate by leaving comments on the left hand side of the desktop application or below on the mobile version. 

If one of the four seats is open, a viewer can easily request to join and it’s up to the host to accept them into the livestream.

Open Bar #5 | Bradley Large of Del Bravo Imports

del bravo tequila reposadoIn our 5th Open Bar show, Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch talk with Bradley Large of Del Bravo Imports. Some of the topics include the Route 66, Diva, Penasco, and Del Bravo Tequilas as well as how Del Bravo separates their brands from the rest.

Del Bravo Tequila:
Del Bravo on Facebook

diva tequila Diva Tequila:
Diva Tequila Website
Diva Tequila Twitter
Diva Tequila Facebook
Diva Tequila YouTube

Diva Tequila on Tequila Aficionado

Penasco Tequila:
Penasco Tequila Website
Penasco Tequila Twitter

Penasco Tequila on Tequila Aficionado

 

 

route 66 tequila del bravo

Route 66 Tequila:
Route 66 Tequila Twitter
Route 66 Tequila YouTube
Route 66 Tequila Vine

Route 66 Tequila on Tequila Aficionado

 

Tequila Del Bravo is a company dedicated to the production and distribution of premium tequilas in the national and international market. We employ award winning “Masters of Distilling” premium tequila’s from the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
OUR MISSION is to provide the world with the finest tequila produced from the highest quality of ingredients. Our unique process allows us to maximize the transformation from the agave fields to the bottle.

Our commitment and our goal is to continue to improve our process to exceed your expectations for your enjoyment.
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