33 Journal: Singular Spirits

It starts with the agave. The Blue Weber Agave plants Patron uses to craft the world’s finest tequila is grown in remote, sandy soil well beyond the reach of any farming equipment more modern than hand tools and hard work. The plants take years of careful nurturing to become the distillable heart of tequila. This level of patience and perseverance is reflected in Patron’s entire tequila-making process: it takes a minimum of 60 hands to craft the least complicated bottle of Patron; their oldest spirits can take up to seven years to be completed. Patron, a company that honors both time and tradition, has created a legacy of craftsmanship. Every step of their craft—harvesting agave, processing, barrel aging, and bottling—takes place at the Hacienda Patron in Jalisco, Mexico, where Patron is exclusively made, and not coincidentally where the best agave grows.

When every step in the process of creating the world’s finest ultra-premium tequila is done with the utmost care and precision, the physical surroundings of the distillery play an important role. The home for Patrón tequila, is an oasis in the highlands of Jalisco, the premier tequila producing region of Mexico, that includes distillery buildings, a liquors facility, environmental areas, gardens, and a 20-room guesthouse.

“We call our home ‘Hacienda Patrón’ because traditionally a ‘hacienda’ refers to a big land area, often with several buildings, that is managed by an individual or a family. Just
as chateaus are to wineries, our Hacienda is truly the heart and soul of our brand,” said Ed Brown, president and CEO of Patrón Spirits International.

The main distillery building at Hacienda Patrón houses much more than tequila production. The Spanish Colonial-style hacienda building includes a luxury living cottage, kitchen and dining rooms, an English style solid mahogany bar, and an auditorium. It also houses a chapel devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe, located right in the middle of the main building so the company’s employees can start and end their day in traditional worship.

“We built and furnished Hacienda Patrón in traditional style, as a unique and special place where our visitors and employees would feel welcome, a place truly befitting the world’s highest-quality, handmade tequila,” added Brown.

The central Hacienda building was designed and built from the ground up, inspired by Mexican, Spanish, French and Italian design and architecture. With similar care and attention to detail that goes into producing the tequila, sixteen craftsmen hand carved local stones, called Cantera, piece by piece for nine months to create the unique arches of the corridors and foyers. Every door and window was handcrafted, and the hallways, ceilings and walls were designed to match the style of the 1700s. In all, 1.5 million solid bricks were used to construct the Hacienda’s original walls and arches.

The building’s main foyer, just inside from the tranquil gardens in the exterior courtyard, stands 45 feet high inside a beautiful domed ceiling made from brick. The entryway is highlighted by a wrought iron chandelier, custom designed near Guadalajara in the town of Tlaquepaque. The French, Italian Indian, English and Mexican-style furnishings and décor throughout the building were collected by Patrón from around the world, just as traditional Hacienda owners have done for centuries.

Hacienda Patrón also includes a separate distillery building nearby, often called “Casa Patrón,” where some of the roller mill tequila used in the Patrón blend is produced. Also on the Hacienda property, in a separate building, is the facility where Patrón XO Cafe and Patrón Citrónge liqueurs are produced. The Hacienda also includes a full-service 20-room lodge for invited guests.

Aside from the physical buildings, what also makes the Hacienda so special is the care and attention taken there to focus on environment preservation. For example, Patrón has installed a reverse osmosis plant on the Hacienda property to treat stillage – the by-product of distillation. Also, leftover agave remnants are turned into organic compost, which is spread in Hacienda gardens, as well as those in the local community. The Hacienda Patrón distillery has earned ISO 14001 certification, and clean industry certification from PROFEPA (the Mexican Environmental Protection Agency) for these efforts to reduce waste, lessen emissions, and limit other environmental impacts.

“Hacienda Patrón symbolizes everything that makes our tequila the finest in the world. Every detail at our Hacienda and every step we take to help the community and environment there, embodies the quality and care that goes into producing Patrón tequila,” added Brown.

Much like Moore & Giles’ leather making process, Patron’s seemingly alchemical work is deeply rooted in tradition and requires an exceedingly close attention to detail. Their tequila may be the most obvious element in Patron’s craft story, but the people and process involved in each and every step are what set this brand apart from the rest.