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.

While the flavor of a tequila is incredibly important, consumers do expect more from brands than a great taste and smooth finish. They’re choosing brands that take care of their people and community, those that take pride in their culture, and those that are committed to delivering a quality product and never cutting corners. PATRÓN has been dedicated to its time-honored process, its familia and community, and creating a simply perfect tequila since its inception in 1989. These are the reasons consumers reach for PATRÓN.

People (and Community) are the Pulse of PATRÓN

People are the pulse of PATRÓN. As one of the largest employers in the region, PATRÓN takes care of its familia who put so much care, dedication, and passion into creating its simply perfect tequila, as well as its community.

PATRÓN has long-term contracts established with the families who grow its Weber Blue Agave, a succulent indigenous to the central Mexican state of Jalisco and several neighboring states that grows slowly and is a labor-intensive crop. Because of these deeply rooted and lasting relationships, PATRÓN and its farmers work to ensure that the highest standards of the production process, which are far more stringent than the balance of the industry, are met when selecting the crop that eventually becomes PATRÓN Tequila.

The 2,000 employees of Hacienda PATRÓN are the brand’s familia. They preserve traditional production methods to craft the world’s finest tequila and take immense pride in their work at every step of the production process from harvesting to blending to bottling.

Taking care of its familia and farmers means taking care of its collective community. PATRÓN offers after-hours education programs and partners with local universities to reduce education costs for its familia. Further, it maintains a steadfast commitment to philanthropic and charitable causes beyond the doors of Hacienda PATRÓN, through work on the local level with food banks and orphanages, and on a global level helping to fund food programs, disaster relief, civic organizations, and several other important causes.

Tireless Dedication to Perfection

As the category leader, PATRÓN Tequila does not compromise on quality for efficiency. PATRÓN is one of the only tequila brands that has remained dedicated to a traditional, handcrafted production process since the brand’s inception.

PATRÓN’s quality assurance practices are higher than what’s typical of industry standards, and they go to extraordinary lengths to ensure a complex, simply perfect tequila with a distinct taste reaches its consumers.

Starting at the beginning, the Weber Blue Agave piñas (the heart of the agave plant used for tequila production) used to craft PATRÓN are sourced from Los Altos de Jalisco, or the Highlands of Jalisco, rather than El Valle de Tequila, or Tequila Valley. The Highlands sits approximately 2,500 feet higher than Tequila Valley, and this growing site is characterized by cooler temperatures, higher annual rainfall, and iron-rich soil, all of which promote the development of higher sugar content in the agave (a key benefactor to the quality of the tequila). PATRÓN’s Weber Blue Agave is slow  grown, slow roasted, and slow matured for maximum flavor. Once the agave is ready for harvest, the PATRÓN jimadores (skilled workers, many of whom descend from generations of agave farmers) shave the pencas (the agave’s long spiky leaves) more closely to the piña (the part of the agave plant used for tequila production) than is common in the industry. Their belief is that this practice removes most of the waxes and chlorophyll that can result in bitter notes in the final distillate.

That same precision follows through the entire production process, and has since PATRÓN’s founding, from slowly roasting the agave in the same small brick ovens (which is a lengthier process than what some other producers do), to patiently fermenting and distilling the tequila to achieve a delicious flavor. Additionally, unlike many other tequilas, PATRÓN doesn’t add any sugar to the agave juice as it’s distilled into tequila, meaning that all PATRÓN Tequilas are made with all the fermentable sugars coming exclusively from agave.

PATRÓN’s Brix standard, or minimum sugar level in solution, is also several points above the industry average, at around 25 percent, further solidifying PATRÓN’s dedication to a time-honored, meticulous production process that doesn’t cut corners.

Crafted By Hand

As part of PATRÓN’s time-honored production process, it’s one of the very few tequila brands that still chooses to make tequila the hard way: by hand. Even as PATRÓN continues to succeed and grow as a leader in the premium tequila market, it hasn’t adopted methods that cut corners or compromise quality, and instead continues to preserve the traditional, passionately handcrafted means of production.

Hacienda PATRÓN is where all the agave juice is distilled into tequila. On site, the more than 2,000 employees preserve traditional production methods of tequila craftsmanship, and at least 60 hands touch every bottle of PATRÓN before it’s deemed up to standard and reaches a consumer. Hacienda PATRÓN includes not only the bottling facility and barrel room, but also the traditional tahona and roller miller that crush the piñas into a fermentable mash, as well as composting and water treatment facilities. To best monitor the quality of every drop of tequila it produces in the Hacienda, PATRÓN makes tequila in small batches from only the highest-quality ingredients to make as simply perfect a tequila as possible.

Once the tequila is ready for bottling and inspection, PATRÓN implements the same care and dedication used throughout the entire tequila-making process. Each bottle is individually labeled, numbered, and inspected. The packaging itself is yet another testament to PATRÓN’s attention to detail and preservation of craftsmanship. The bottle corks, a sustainable and traditional form of product packaging, are sourced from just outside Lisbon, Portugal where skilled workers’ expert movements separate the cork bark from the trees. The use of real cork, which naturally expands and contracts with the bottle, ensures the perfect seal for keeping PATRÓN at the same high standard, even after it leaves Hacienda PATRÓN.

Bold Innovation

While preserving tradition is at the core of the PATRÓN brand, it’s constantly experimenting, exploring, and creating bold innovations while staying committed to its handcrafted production process and respecting the environment and community of its hometown in Atotonilco el Alto, Mexico. Since introducing the world to the ultra-premium tequila category, PATRÓN’s premium product line has expanded because of this innovation; it includes a dozen varieties of tequila, including the core expressions such as PATRÓN Silver, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo, as well as specially crafted tequilas, an extra-premium product line, limited-edition liqueurs, and more.

Further, its innovation is driven by always having social responsibility and sustainability at the heart of all it does. The reverse osmosis and composting at Hacienda PATRÓN have helped save water needed in facilities and operations, persevering more for the Earth. In 2016 alone, about 24 million liters of water were reused throughout the Hacienda.

PATRÓN believes the best things in life are made with a painstaking commitment to craft, community, and tradition, and this is the guiding philosophy distilled into every bottle of its tequila. Commitments to tradition, craftsmanship, quality, and community — all with a tireless dedication to perfection — are at the heart of PATRÓN’s entire tequila-making process, and that makes PATRÓN simply perfect.

This article is sponsored by PATRÓN.