Fortaleza History is a brand with a rich legacy spanning over five generations in the tequila industry. Despite being a relatively new player in the market, having launched in 2005, the brand boasts a remarkable history of over 150 years.
The story begins with Don Cenobio, the great-great-grandfather of the current generation. In 1873, he established the first distillery, La Perseverancia, in Tequila, Jalisco. Don Cenobio made significant contributions to the tequila industry, being the first to export "mezcal de tequila" to the United States. He also played a pivotal role in shortening the name to just Tequila and introduced steam for cooking the agave, replacing the traditional earthen pit method. Moreover, he advocated using Blue Agave as the superior choice for tequila production.
Following Don Cenobio's passing in 1909, his son Eladio took over the family business. During his tenure, Eladio introduced Tequila to the world under various names such as Mexican brandy, Mexican whiskey, Tequila, and as an aperitif. He also played a significant role in establishing Tequila as the national drink of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. In addition, Eladio founded the distillery, La Constancia.
After Eladio died in 1946, his son Francisco Javier inherited the family business and further revolutionized the industry, making Tequila the most renowned brand globally. However, don Javier's most significant contribution was helping establish the Denomination of Origin for Tequila, securing the authenticity and origin of tequila production.
During a business trip to Japan in the late 1960s, Don Javier discovered a bottle of Japanese Tequila, which angered him. This incident fueled his determination to protect the Mexican heritage of tequila production. In collaboration with other tequila producers, he led the application for an appellation of origin in 1973. However, it wasn't until 1996 that the world officially recognized the Denomination of Origin for Tequila.
Don Javier acquired land in Tequila to build a hacienda strategically overlooking his rival's distillery. On this land, he found a small distillery named La Fortaleza. The distillery, equipped with a small brick oven, a tahona pit, a few wood fermentation vats, and two small copper pot stills, produced Tequila until 1968. After that, however, due to its perceived inefficiency and low production capacity, it was shut down and later converted into a museum showcasing the traditional tequila-making process.
In 1976, Don Javier sold the family business, but the family retained ownership of the hacienda and distillery land. In 1999, Guillermo, Don Javier's grandson and the son of Doña Sylvia, took the initiative to revive the old distillery. With immense dedication, Guillermo restored Destileria La Fortaleza to its former glory, utilizing the same traditional and artisanal methods employed over a century ago. The production process involves a small brick oven for agave cooking, a tahona for agave juice extraction, wooden fermentation tanks, and the original copper pots for distillation.
The ultimate goal of Fortaleza History is to craft the finest Tequila while honoring the legacy of their ancestors. Therefore, they strive to maintain the traditional and artisanal approach, refusing to change their time-tested methods. By doing so, they pay tribute to their great-great-grandfather, great-grandfather, and grandfather, who pushed the tequila industry forward.
In conclusion, Fortaleza History represents a brand rooted in tradition, heritage and a deep passion for Tequila. They celebrate the achievements of their ancestors while producing Tequila that exemplifies the finest craftsmanship. Viva Los Abuelos! Viva Fortaleza! Gracias y Salúd!