March Tequila of the Month: Fortaleza

March Tequila of the Month: Fortaleza

Have you been enjoying our monthly journey through tequilas as much as we have enjoyed curating it for you? The goal is to offer you a mix of well-known popular brands and more exclusive hidden tequila treasures. This month we are eager to share an exciting find with you, Tequila Fortaleza.

Since discovering this tequila gem, it has become one of John's favorites. Check out the shelf above his desk! He has been "doing research" on the whole line for you.  It's a special order tequila so you won't be able to find it too many other places in Pittsburgh. Come and try it. 

We will be offering the Fortaleza Blanco expression which you can taste straight, or as we suggest, in our featured margarita of the month, Paloma's Fortress. This margarita features Fortaleza Blanco, Pajarote Arandas Grapefruit & Rosemary Liqueur (an artisanal beverage inspired by the grapefruit trees of Arandas, Jalisco),  and Chris's house made mint simple syrup. These are the perfect fresh clean flavors to prepare us for Spring's arrival. This margarita has a divine fragrance to experience before you take your first sip. Scroll to the bottom to see how we make it.

A rep from Fortaleza will be at the in on Wednesday, March 8 (6pm-8pm) to sample this remarkable tequila.  Each Wednesday in March Fortaleza margaritas are available at Happy Hour Prices all day.

Read on to learn more.....

I asked John why he likes this tequila so much and he said, "It's clean and bright with a good agave flavor."  He says that Guillermo Sauza is the real the world's most interesting man and that Fortaleza is well made. I'm enthralled not only with the tequila but with Fortaleza's great heritage and story.

Launched in 2005 by Don Guillermo Erickson Sauza, Tequila Fortaleza may be a new comer to the market but  it can boast of a 140-year-old history and five generations of tequila makers.

Don Guillermo’s great-great-grandfather, Don Cenobio Suaza, known as the Father of Tequila, founded his first distillery – La Perseverancia – in 1873, in the town of Tequila, Jalisco. Don Cenobio was the first person to export “mezcal de tequila” to the United States, shorten the name to just Tequila, and implement the use of steam to cook the agave. He also stated that the Blue Agave was the best agave to use for production.

His son, Eladio, took over in 1909.  During the Mexican Revolution, Don Eladio helped to establish tequila as the national drink of Mexico. He also founded the distillery, La Constancia. His son, Francisco Javier, took over in 1946, and although he also did a lot for the industry, they say that the most important thing he did was to help establish the Denomination of Origin for Tequila. Don Javier bought a piece of land in the town of Tequila so he could build a hacienda on the highest point of town, overlooking his rival’s distillery. On this land sat a small distillery, which he named La Fortaleza.

Don Javier sold the family business in 1976, but the family kept the land with their hacienda and distillery. In 1999, his grandson, Guillermo, heartbroken over the sale of his family's business, began the process of getting the old distillery up and running again. After several years of renovations and hard work, La Fortaleza is making tequila in the same way it was made over 100 years ago – with a small brick oven to cook the agave, a tahona to squeeze the juices out of the agave, wood tanks for fermentation, and the two original copper pots for distillation.

The company writes, “while our family had always pushed the tequila industry forward, we are looking back. Using traditional and artisanal methods, our goal is to make the best tequila we can. By doing so we honor our great-great grandfather, great grandfather, and grandfather.”

We came across a fascinating interview with Guillermo Sauza. It is worth the time to watch if you are a tequila enthusiast.  He offers his suggestions on tasting tequila, talks about each of his tequila expressions, and provides more history. He also gives a shout out to the Orendian family who are his neighbors (our house tequila) and talks about what he originally intended to name his tequila. Pretty cool stuff. Check it out here:

Below is a link to Chris making the Paloma's Fortress Margarita. Let us know what you think about Tequila Fortaleza.

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