We were fortunate enough to participate in a staff training with Breakthru Beverage’s one and only Maria Tequila. Herradura is a brand we are very familiar with at the store, however hearing the incredible history and extraordinary craftsmanship while learning how to correctly taste and smell the tequila was an experience we won’t soon forget.
The story Herradura Tequila begins in 1870 in the valley of Amatitan at the foothill of Tequila Mountain in the Sierra Madre. Felix Lopez and his wife Carmen Rosales founded the distillery in a old Spanish-style Hacienda where it stayed until 1963. Needless to say the brand flourished and eventually relocated to a lager facility after 1963. The original Hacienda was preserved as a museum.
Why a horseshoe? History says Mr. Felix’s son, Aurelio Lopez, saw a horseshoe catch the light of a sunbeam in the fields of the Hacienda and took this as a sign use the symbol as the logo for his family’s brand. The horseshoe is upside down so when the tequila is poured, luck flows through the bottle and into each glass.
The most important role in the Herradura Distllery is the Jimadore. These men work hours upon hours in the blazing sun carefully harvesting the blue agave used to make Herradura. These agave can weigh hundreds of pounds and Herradura alone has around 25,000,000– you do the math. The Jimadores have to cut the pencas (leaves) as close as possible to the plant to prevent bitterness. This is precise and exhausting work, but when done correctly, creates an exceptional product. All of Herradura’s agave plants can be traced back to the original 1870 mother plants.
So pick up a bottle of Herradura next time your in the store and let it tell you it’s story. On the nose, you can smell the grounds of the distillery, the oven the agave was cooked in, the caramelized agave, and the vegetal notes of the valley soil. Before your first sip, take about three drops on your palate and taste the black pepper, cinnamon, citrus, caramel, and slight smokiness from the oven. For those who shudder at just the thought of tequila, Herradura will absolutely open your mind to the spirit and reveal aromas and flavors you didn’t know you were missing. Salud.