El Universal: The Queen of Agave
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. – Passion and dedication are the characteristics of Bertha González, the first woman in the history of tequila to be appointed Maestra Tequilera by the Mexican Academy of Tequila Tasters.
As an entrepreneur, Gonzalez has served as CEO and Co-founder of Casa Dragones following the brand’s launch two years ago. Her love for the Mexican spirit began while she was studying Business Administration at the Anahuac del Sur University in Mexico.
“I learned that the Japanese government was holding an open call where young people ages 20 to 30 were invited to compete to represent their country. The selection process was long and hard, even more difficult than studying for my Masters degree at Northwestern University”, says González, who was selected to be a young ambassador of Mexico in Japan.
To represent her country, she prepared for six months, studying history, politics, economy and culture in order to speak eloquently about Mexico and give a broad idea of the country and culture. As part of her preparation, she also visited various tequila companies and agave fields.
“It was there that I first knew I wanted to dedicate my career to tequila. The agave fields are truly beautiful, a natural spectacle not to be missed. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared the agave fields as a World Heritage site. It was there my passion for tequila was born,” says González.
Following her return from Japan, she completed her career in Business Administration, receiving her Masters degree from Northwestern University. She entered into the tequila industry at Casa Cuervo, one of the largest tequila
companies in the country.
“I had the opportunity to work in key positions in the company, and had the support and teaching of great masters,” she says.
MAN’S WORLD Breaking into an industry led by men hasn´t been complicated for González, because of her passion for tequila and for Mexico. “It has been a challenge, but also very encouraging. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but my passion for tequila is what gave me the strength to continue working,” the tequila expert says.
Two years ago, the Maestra Tequilera worked independently to create her own tequila company, Casa Dragones. The brand is distinguished for its handcrafted product, its limited production, and meticulous attention to detail. “We have developed a rare style of tequila, a Joven tequila, which is created by gently balancing silver tequila with a hint of extra añejo. We combine traditional production processes with innovative, state-of-the-art techniques. Our agave fields are located in a very mineral-rich zone, which is reflected in the taste of our tequila,” explains the Maestra Tequilera.
LUXURY DESIGN Casa Dragones’ bottle is also unique and handcrafted, inspired by the form of an old Mexican apothecary bottle, and a tribute to the artisans of Mexico. On the bottom of the bottle, you can see the engraving of an agave. The bottle won the most prestigious design award in France: the Grand Prix Stratégies du Luxe. Casa Dragones is inspired by the legendary Dragones of San Miguel de Allende, the group who sparked Mexico’s Independence movement.
“We are inspired by the courage and independent spirit of the Dragones,” says González.
For González, it is important to educate new generations about the Tequila industry, which is why she teaches the first course about the Tequila industry, Diplomado de Técnico Tequilero at the University of Guadalajara.
SOPHISTICATED DISTILLATION Sold in Mexico, the United States and the U.K., Casa Dragones Tequila is a 100% Blue Agave Joven Tequila, a blend of silver tequila and extra añejo, with a limited production of only 12,000 bottles in its first year. A remarkable feature of the product is its handcrafted bottle, created with the Mexican engraving technique of Pepita.
Since its debut in Mexico and the United States in 2009, Casa Dragones has received praise from fans, sommeliers and renowned chefs for its distinctive taste, aroma and body, reflecting the care, love, passion and attention to detail of its production.
In September 2011, Oprah Winfrey named Casa Dragones her favorite tequila. Opinion leaders like Martha Stewart and U2 have also tasted and enjoyed Casa Dragones during their stays in Mexico, also commenting on its unique taste.
THE HISTORY OF THE DRAGONES Casa Dragones Tequila is inspired from the legendary Dragones of San Miguel de Allende, a small group led by General Ignacio Allende who helped start the Mexican independence movement of 1810. La Casa Dragones, the house of the brand, is still symbolic of the Dragones, retaining its old-world appearance in
its interior. Walk past the iron gates, along the trellised stone corridor of the house, and you can feel the passion that once again resides there. Today, La Casa Dragones is home to a new tequila that defies the ordinary, a place of inspiration for Bertha González, and the pride of Mexico.