Destileria La Fortaleza
Tequila Fortaleza launched in 2005, so they are relatively new to the market, but they have over 140 years of history behind their brand. The great-great-grandfather, Don Cenobio, founded his first distillery – La Perseverancia – in 1873, in the town of Tequila, Jalisco. Not only was Don Cenobio the first person to export “tequila” to the United States, and implement the use of steam to cook the agave (instead of an earthen pit), Cenobio also stated that the Blue Agave was the best agave to use for production. While on a business trip to Japan in the late 1960’s, Don Javier came across a bottle of Japanese Tequila. Angered by this, he stated that tequila can only be made in Mexico, specifically, in the area around Tequila. A group of tequila producers, led by Don Javier, filed an application for an appellation of origin in 1973, but it wasn’t until 1996 when the world officially recognized the Denomination of Origin for Tequila. Don Javier sold the family business in 1976, but the family kept the land with their hacienda and distillery. In 1999, Don Javier’s grandson, Guillermo, began the process of getting the old distillery up and running again. After several years of renovations and hard work, Don Guillermo got Destileria La Fortaleza up and running again, making tequila in the same way it was made over 100 years ago – with a small brick oven to cook the agave, a tahona to squeeze the juices out of the agave, wood tanks for fermentation, and the 2 original copper pots for distillation. Their goal is to make the best tequila that they can, and to this day, they have not changed a single thing.