Country of Origin: Mexico
Location: Tequila (Jalisco)
People: Guillermo Erickson Sauza, Owner & Tequilero
The estate and distillery are located in the heartland of the appellation zone, on the slopes of the 9,560 feet tall extinct Volcán de Tequila, in the small town of Tequila. This is where Guillermo Sauza's family has made tequila for five generations, cinco generaciones. He produces authentic, artisan, handcrafted tequila in his family's 100 plus year old distillery, named la fortaleza or fortitude. The tequila is only made one way; and that is the way of his tatarabuelo, or Great-Great Grandfather, who started making Tequila in 1860.
The old-fashioned stone milling and copper pot still process methodology results in a unique and unequaled tequila with an excellent bouquet, flavorful taste and an incomparable clean and smooth finish. In an old, brick oven, he cooks the agave for 22 hours. Then, the agave is milled, washed with the pure mountain water form the Volcano de Tequila to create an agave juice called mosto. Natural fermentation of the mosto lasts 3 to 4 days in small wood vats and then double distilled using small, copper pot stills.
One of the beautiful things about Fortaleza, is that they make a very limited amount of tequila. Due to the variances in the weather and the agave, each lot that we release has its own unique characteristics, while retaining our very singular taste. This is very similar to wine releasing a Vintage.
The packaging is unique and very memorable. The top, designed by an artist to represent a harvested agave, are hand made by the workers. The neck label proudly carries the initials of our abuelo, bisabuelo and tatarabuelo, (grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather). And the back and lot label carry Guillermo's name and are his guarantee of authenticity! When you open a bottle of Fortaleza, you can be assured that it was made 100% on the estate. On the back of each bottle there is a hand written sticker near the bottom that will tell you the lot number. The first letter tells you the style of the tequila; B (blanco) R (reposado), and A (añejo). The second letter is L (lot), and the numerical digits tell you the lot number. So R-L-05 would be reposado lot 5; one of the most sought after expressions that Tequila Fortaleza has released.
You Tube Links
Tequila Traveler: Fortaleza Distillery
San Francisco Bay Guardian Online: Appetite: In Tequila with Fortaleza
Examiner.com: Tequila La Fortaleza comes to Portland