Strong tradition and history drive brand authenticity and Tequila Corralejo understands the value of both; marrying the richness of the past to its present quest to achieve global expansion.
One of the few tequilas produced in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, the brand can be traced back to 1770 when Hacienda Corralejo was established. Producing tequila as a commercial venture in 1775, Hacienda Corralejo introduced 100 percent blue agave Tequila Corralejo to the market, it says.
After taking ownership in 1994, Leonardo Rodriguez Moreno renewed the tequila production facility and commitment to continue the time-honored tradition of producing premium tequila at Hacienda Corralejo.
Tequila Corralejo ranked No. 12 among tequila brands in terms of dollar sales for the 52 weeks ending Feb. 25 in U.S. multi-outlets, according to data from Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Hacienda Corralejo generated sales of more than $8.1 million and a year-over-year sales growth of 22.5 percent, based on IRI data.
The brand’s marketing arm, Fraternity Spirits, predicts that Tequila Corralejo will continue its upward trend.
Reporting from Hacienda tours, beach parties in France, celebrity mixologist events worldwide, company and fan-generated pictures and videos from around the world are chronicling the brand’s success. For instance, Tequila Corralejo’s refined Añejo flavor profile has been resonating with spirits connoisseurs since its limited-edition launch last year, it says.
Only the best tequila from the Hacienda makes it to market, according to the company. Hand-picked blue weber agave is slow cooked in stone clay ovens for 27 hours followed by a 12-hour resting period before the juice can be extracted for fermentation, it adds.
The Tequila Corralejo distillation process is unique because it uses a mixture of column stills and Alambic copper pot stills imported from Tomelloso, Spain, according to the company. Tequila Corralejo employs the 400-year-old Charentais method of distillation, which retains aroma and flavor, it adds.
Blanco, the brand’s silver tequila, is sent to market fresh from the distillery, while its Reposado and Añejo varieties undergo the aging process prior to shipment. Each barrel of its fine tequila is sampled by the regulating council of Tequila, or CRT, before and after aging to ensure the highest quality tequila, the company says.
“Corralejo’s deep roots and production methods are unique in the tequila industry,” says Ray Ramos, Hacienda Corralejo’s director.
Testing the market for an even more premium spirit, Tequila Corralejo released its limited-edition 1821 Extra Añejo tequila in the United States in 2017.
“Corralejo 1821 represents the hard-fought sovereignty led by Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a noble priest born at Hacienda Corralejo,” Ramos explains. “Hidalgo is renowned for launching the Mexican War of Independence in 1810 in revolt against the injustices by Mexican government at the time. Spanish rule was abolished on Aug. 24, 1821, and today Hidalgo is remembered for his contribution to Mexican history.”
Building on the success of the limited-edition release in 2017, the company is distributing another three-bottle case limited run this fall.
Mixing it up
With double-digit growth, Tequila Corralejo is gaining ground with consumers. Tequila Corralejo Reposado, which features an aroma of sweet vanilla, honey, spice with hints of oak that has a warm, medium bodied finish, continues to be the brand’s top performer, the company says. Mixing its tequilas in a variety of cocktails and pairing it with pork, poultry, grilled steak and even cheese and chocolate, is part of its appeal.
Welcoming the world to tastings at the Hacienda with its “Mi Casa es Tu Casa” and the Cava el Bodegon de la Dolce Vita on social media, Tequila Corralejo’s website boasts recipes and how-to guides for Margarita al pastor, featuring chilis, and a Corralejo Margarita with grapefruit, mango and orange with a salt rim.
Additionally Fraternity Spirits has been working to promote tequila pairings for a wide range of foods, including meats, cheeses and chocolates.
Creatively designing experiences in bars and restaurants in 47 states and more countries around the world, Ramos plans to continue Corralejo’s global growth trajectory in the premium tequila market in 2019.
“We are currently in 70 countries including the United States, Europe, Asia, Russia and Latin America,” Ramos says. “The expansion of Corralejo is ongoing and U.S. marketing is driven by opening new markets through distributor programs, staff education, social media, launching new extension lines within the Corralejo portfolio, and supporting tequila events throughout the United States.” BI