This article is part of a series highlighting the importance of authentic tequila, partnered by PATRÓN. Discover more at The World of PATRÓN.
There are a lot of ways to define a tequila as the best on the market. For PATRÓN®, the final product — a smooth and complex tequila renowned for its taste and versatility — is just one aspect of what makes its spirit so distinct. During the entire production process, PATRÓN dedicates itself to the well-being of the people who work at Hacienda PATRÓN, and that commitment to supporting others extends to the tequila’s impact on our planet, too.
The through line in every step of the brand’s tequila-making is social responsibility. Above all else, PATRÓN recognizes that the people who help make the tequila, and those who enjoy it, are all part of one big PATRÓN familia. To protect the planet for future generations and minimize environmental impacts today, PATRÓN has implemented several green initiatives in the brand’s tequila-making process.
Preserving Both the Land and the Community
Rather than simply focusing on the production, PATRÓN implements its high standards beyond the distillery, giving attention to the landscape surrounding Hacienda PATRÓN.
As a constantly evolving brand, PATRÓN needed to make room to physically expand its operations onsite at Hacienda PATRÓN. While most other companies would’ve simply cleared the land by any means necessary, PATRÓN saw the value in the lime trees that had been growing there for years. So instead of chopping them down, PATRÓN transplanted them all — more than 3,000. Additionally, PATRÓN has reforested and donated approximately 16,000 trees to the brand’s local community of Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco. Every action PATRÓN takes is thoughtful and proactive, prioritizing the integrity of the land and, by extension, the community that relies on it.
Without agave, there wouldn’t be tequila. To ensure the PATRÓN Tequila production process remains sustainable, the jimadores, or agave farmers, only select the highest quality, fully mature 100 percent Weber Blue Agave for harvest. It takes between five and seven years for a single agave to reach maturation for harvest, meaning jimadores must carefully plan their harvests years in advance. By paying meticulous attention to the natural life cycle of the agave, the jimadores are able to prevent overharvesting and reactionary overplanting. This expert focus on sustainable farming minimizes the farms’ impacts on the local ecosystem. Maintaining this balance on the area’s agave farms also allows the plants to complete their natural reproduction cycle, leading to better agave and, subsequently, more superior tequila.
Combatting Scarcity, Reducing Waste
Simply perfect tequila like PATRÓN can’t be made without high-quality water, which is an increasingly scarce resource. To combat both water scarcity and reduce waste, PATRÓN developed a state-of-the-art water treatment system. When making tequila, large amounts of water are mixed with crushed 100 percent Weber Blue Agave — the plant that supplies the sugars necessary for fermentation into alcohol. After fermenting this water and agave nectar mixture, the liquid is distilled into tequila through evaporation. There’s often liquid left over, which is called “stillage.”
Instead of throwing away this mixture, which still contains fresh water, PATRÓN runs it through the distillery’s water treatment system. The stillage undergoes a reverse osmosis process which separates up to 70 percent of the water from the stillage. PATRÓN is then able to use this recovered water in the distillery’s cooling towers and for cleaning.
PATRÓN was the first tequila distillery to implement a clean water waste reduction system, demonstrating the brand’s initiative and commitment to its familia. In fact, the brand’s efforts to reduce freshwater waste and environmental impact on the surrounding community earned it a Clean Industry Certification and internationally recognized Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Certification for sustainability. The process for obtaining these certificates can be long and arduous and often involves implementing rigorous systems and passing an official audit from the institutions that confer these designations, including ISO.
Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle
To reduce waste even further in the tequila-making process, PATRÓN repurposes the agaves that are used to make tequila. The distillery reserves the spent agave fibers from the distillation process and mixes them with concentrated leftover stillage to turn it into nutrient-rich compost. Increasing the impact in waste reduction, PATRÓN has even established partnerships with 10 nearby distilleries that donate their spent agave fibers to be turned into compost as well.
PATRÓN then applies the compost to vegetable gardens onsite at Hacienda PATRÓN, utilizing the added nutrients created from what would’ve otherwise been thrown out and that are a rich and fertile substrate for produce to grow in. Once harvested, the brand uses this food to prepare meals for guests at its onsite La Casona lodging. And, in the true spirit of familia, PATRÓN also donates a considerable amount of this locally grown, sustainable produce to its employees to take home to their families.
From before the start of the tequila-making process to long after it’s finished, PATRÓN has the planet and its people in mind. It hasn’t been easy, but PATRÓN has never been interested in taking the easy route and instead prioritizes doing right by people and making the best tequila possible.
To do both, the brand has implemented resource preservation, waste reduction, and strategic agave recycling practices into its operation to preserve the environment for generations to come. These green initiatives enable PATRÓN to take meaningful steps to reduce its impact on the planet’s resources while maximizing its positive impacts on the jimadores who grow the agave, the familia who distills the tequila, and everyone who enjoys the simply perfect taste of PATRÓN.
This article is sponsored by PATRÓN.