Tequila Cuervo La Rojeña S.A. de C.V
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+52 01 800 006 8630
73 Calle Jose Cuervo,
José Cuervo is the best-selling tequila brand in the world so unsurprisingly it is made at one of two huge purpose built distilleries. However, Cuervo’s original distillery, La Rojeña distillery in the centre of the town of Tequila still operates and this is where the company’s super premium tequilas such as Reserva de la Familia and 1800 are made.
Cuervo’s story starts in 1758 when Sr. Jose Antonio de Cuervo purchased a plot of land that included a distillery in the village of Tequila. Unfortunately for Jose Antonio, in 1785 King Charles III of Spain, the then ruler of Mexico, banned production of alcoholic beverages in an attempt to raise revenue from taxes on imported wines and brandies. After his death in 1792, the new king, Charles IV, lifted the ban and in 1795 granted Jose Antonio’s son Jose Maria Guadalupe Cuervo a permit to cultivate and distil from agave. This was the first license to produce “mezcal wine”, the antecedent of what we know today as tequila and it is this 1795 date which marks the official establishment of Tequila Cuervo La Rojeña, S.A. de C.V - the oldest continuously running tequila company for which there are definitive records. The company expanded rapidly and Jose Guadalupe prospered until his death.
When Jose Guadalupe died he left the company and all of his property to his son and daughter Don Jose Ignacio Faustino and Dona Maria Magdalena de Cuervo. Dona married Vicente Albino Rojas who took over control of her properties. He changed the name of the distillery from ‘Teberna de Cuervo’ to ‘La Rojeña’ and modernised and increased production. When he died, everything was left to his two daughters who handed over control to Sr. Jesus Flores, who owned two other distilleries in the region (La Florena and La del Puente, the latter later known as La Constancia). Jesus Flores was the first tequila-maker to bottle his tequila rather than sell it in barrels. The tequila was exported to the United States for the first time in 1873.
On the death of Jesus Flores Jesus, his wife, Ana Gonzalez Rubio, inherited the La Rojeña distillery and in 1900 married José Cuervo Labastida, master distiller at La Constancia. Flores took over management of the company and shortly after changed the name of the tequila produced by the company to the now recognisable José Cuervo Tequila. By this time the company had more than four million agave plants located in fields and farms such as Santa Teresa, La de Guevara, Camichines, Santa Ana, Las Cuevas, La Camotera, Los Colgados, La Fundicion, El Colorado, Las Marias, San Pedro and Guamuchil, among others. Jose Cuervo was now an international brand and won many prizes at international expositions such as the ‘Gran Premio’ in Madrid in 1907 and the ‘Gran Prix’ at the 1909 International Exposition of Nutrition and Hygiene in Paris.
Jose Cuervo and his wife Ana gave generously the local community, built schools, established water supplies, built washing facilities, paved streets and bought land so that townspeople could be buried without cost.
Against a background of unrest and the threat of revolutionary forces threatening Guadalajara, in 1914 Virginia Gallardo, the heir apparent to the Cuervo empire, married Juan Beckmann, the German consul in Guadalajara. In 1921, Jose Cuervo died and management of La Rojeña distillery was taken over by administrators before eventually passing to the Cuervo Heirs, Juan Beckmann Gallardo and Juan Beckmann Vidal.
Over 200 years since its incorporation, Cuervo’s heirs still own and operate Tequila Cuervo La Rojeña S.A. de C.V, the largest tequila company with the best selling tequila in the world.