This article is part of a series highlighting the importance of additive-free and authentic tequila, partnered by PATRÓN. Discover more at The World of PATRÓN.
It takes a village to craft the perfect tequila.
While that’s not precisely how the proverb goes, it certainly applies at PATRÓN Tequila.
PATRÓN is one of the few brands that still makes tequila the hard way: by hand.
And while it all starts with a plant, it’s the people who are the pulse of PATRÓN.
Every bottle of PATRÓN is passionately handcrafted by its familia, the 2,000-plus employees at PATRÓN who preserve traditional production methods to craft the world’s No. 1 super-premium tequila*.
Throughout the process, from agave harvesting to bottling, at least 60 hands touch every bottle of PATRÓN before it’s enjoyed by individuals around the world. So, before you mix your next delicious Paloma with PATRÓN Silver, gift a bottle of PATRÓN Reposado, or toast your triumphs with PATRÓN Añejo, take a moment to learn about and appreciate the people and processes that come together to make every single sip of PATRÓN simply perfect.
Relationship with farmers
The passion for the product starts at the ground level — literally. As a tequila crafted from only 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, a labor-intensive and slow-growing crop, the respect for agave is at the heart of everything PATRÓN does. The very best agave is maximized at every step of the process and PATRÓN has built long-lasting relationships with farming families who bring years of experience and expertise to the table. This is a relationship built on time and trust, and PATRÓN exclusively enlists these PATRÓN jimadores (skilled workers, many of whom descend from generations of agave farmers) to meet the brand’s stringent requirements to trim the piñas — the heart of the agave plant and the base of tequila — with precise cuts. This practice is believed to remove most of the waxes and chlorophyll that can lead to bitter notes in the resulting tequila, and while it increases the production process time spend, PATRÓN is tirelessly dedicated to perfection and refuses to cut corners.
The same level of precision and care in the agave selection and harvesting steps are deeply rooted in the distillation process as well.
A traditional, time-honored distillation process that gives back
When it comes to quality and craftsmanship, the distillation process is no different. PATRÓN signature tequilas are created through a careful and complex process that involves blending distillates from different barrels with varying aging times, enabling PATRÓN master blenders to achieve consistency in the quality and flavor of each tequila, and without the use of additives like caramel coloring or oak extracts.
The craftspeople who make up this talented team, led by master distiller David Rodriguez, possess both a respect for tradition and a love of innovation, exploration, and experimentation. It’s this mix of old and new, a nod to the past, and an eye toward the future, that makes PATRÓN truly unique.
In addition to a shared a commitment to the time-honored process that is rooted in deep respect for the environment and the community of Atotonilco el Alto, the hometown of PATRÓN and its people, they’re also thinking creatively and continuously innovating. As the brand’s master blenders apply tried-and-tested techniques developed over the last three decades to guarantee every drop of tequila meets PATRÓN standards, the progressive pioneers are simultaneously keeping sustainability and social responsibility front of mind. They’re constantly searching for ways to give back to the community and the Earth while moving both the culture and the company forward.
For instance, to reduce CO2 emissions, PATRÓN is the first tequila distillery to install a natural gas pipeline as a main energy source, and it has implemented a state-of-the-art water treatment system to reclaim clean water from tequila production. Additionally, PATRÓN prides itself on investing in the industry and working with those in it. Along with partnering with neighboring distilleries by taking in their used agave fibers to create fertilizer compost rather than waste, the brand is funding a study with a Mexican agricultural research center to ensure the sustainability of the Weber Blue Agave plant and, therefore, that there will be plenty of tequila for everyone to enjoy for years to come.
The dedication to perfection continues through the very last steps of the production process. PATRÓN entrusts its skilled familia, focusing on replication and repetition. Each bottle of tequila is corked, sealed, labeled, and ribboned by hand before it’s sent off to every corner of the world to be enjoyed.
The use of real cork, sourced from skilled workers in Portugal, is not just a traditional touch but, like every other detail in the PATRÓN production process, serves a real purpose and is a sustainable and traditional form of product packaging. This material, which naturally expands and contracts with the bottle, acts as the perfect seal, properly bottling this product of true love and real labor at its prime.
PATRÓN familia and responsible employment
Much like PATRÓN employees are devoted to the company, PATRÓN is also deeply committed to investing in its people. As the biggest employer in Atotonilco, and the largest employer of any distillery in Mexico, the brand’s meticulous craftsmanship is in concert with its true dedication to the well-being of its workers. The practice and promise are evident in the plant’s working conditions. It’s an environment that has been carefully designed to minimize noise pollution both inside and outside the distillery, ensuring a more pleasant experience for employees within the building and minimizing disruption to the lives of the citizens who live and work nearby.
Furthermore, the PATRÓN pledge to take care of its people isn’t confined to 9 to 5. The company is also proud to offer an after-hours education program and to partner with local universities to help employees interested in furthering their studies pursue an education for lower cost. In addition, PATRÓN offers flexible work hours and free employee transportation to and from the distillery, benefits that help ensure PATRÓN employees are furthering their education, empowered, and able to truly focus on their craft without compromising their quality of life.
Tireless dedication to perfection
From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, numbering, and inspection of each bottle, PATRÓN Tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care. It’s also one of the few brands that still make tequila the hard way — by hand, without cutting corners or adding artificial flavorings or ingredients to create its 100 percent naturally perfect tequila.
This passion, dedication, and the lengths PATRÓN goes to in order achieve its high-quality tequila sets the standard for excellence. Made by 60 hands, no matter your favorite serve, your own hand holds a simply perfect tequila.
*IWSR 2020 Global Database
This article is sponsored by PATRÓN.