Many brands call their distillery a brand home, but Patrón’s purpose built distillery, Hacienda del Patrón is much more than that. The hacienda was built close to the small town of Atotonilco El Alto in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico due to the plentiful supply of quality agave from the surrounding farms and the availability of the water from deep wells.
Hacienda del Patrón incorporates 13 distilleries under one roof, each an exact replica of the first one built here. As demand for the tequila has increased, so distilleries have been added – each crucially with the same small brick ovens, wooden fermenters and copper stills as the original. Additionally, the nearby old El Viejito distillery, now renamed Casa Patrón has been refitted by Patrón’s engineers to mimic the roller-mill side of Patrón’s production, again with the same size fermenters and stills.
When the distillery was completed in 2002 it had a capacity of 20,000 litres (at 55% alc./vol.) per week, now that capacity has jumped to 260,000 litres per week (13,520,000 annually). And, incredibly, despite its cramped space sandwiched between the houses in Atotonilco El Alto town, Casa Patrón adds another 130,000 litres of roller-mill production to give a weekly total of 390,000 litres – nearly 20 times what the distillery was producing when it opened.
Aging warehouses have and continue to be added to cope with demand and particularly the growing demand for añejo and extra añejo tequila. And as I write this, plans are underway to almost double production by mirroring the present plant on land acquired behind Hacienda del Patrón.
From its inception, the hacienda incorporated four bedrooms at the front of the distillery, above production, so that the directors could maintain hands-on close contact with production. However, to accommodate bartenders and world-wide distributors of Patrón wanting to visit the distillery, a 20-room guest house, La Casona (‘the big house’), has been added. This has all the amenities and luxuries of a 5-star hotel with the extra attraction of free-flowing tequila. A stay here is a luxury experience that money can’t buy – it’s invite only. (Bartenders reading this should enter Patrón Perfectionist for a chance to visit.)
La Casona looking from teh distillery