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Published on May 8, 2019
Women in the Tequila Industry I first met outspoken botanist and author Ana Valenzuela in the mid-2000s on a trip to tequila distilleries in Jalisco, Mexico. The respect and admiration this dynamo received from the male tequila producers and agaveros (agave farmers) for both her palate and plant acumen was awe inspiring.
I was determined to uncover more women in the tequila industry like her. I figured I could learn something valuable from them that would improve my understanding of this complex world of tequila.
At that time, I was aware of only two others involved with tequila--
Carmen Villarreal and Ana Maria Romero Mena. Both are included in this anthology.
Working Behind the Scenes Unbeknownst to me, much like the Tequila Vinazas Crisis that I have previously exposed, women in the tequila industry were concealed from public view.
Marketing agencies hadn’t even considered advertising female master distillers as a selling point for tequila brands, preferring to concentrate instead on displaying scantily clad models.
In what was then a very male-dominated tequila industry, I had the feeling that there were women striving in the shadows waiting to be seen, heard, recognized and acknowledged.
A Woman's Touch Over these past few years, it has been gratifying to discover that there were plenty of women working in the Mexican spirits industries all along, guiding some of the most beloved tequila brands on the market.
And now, with the booming mezcal market and other Mexican spirits segments that have historically been inclusive of women, we are seeing more of them come to the forefront of their brands.
Pearls of Wisdom In structuring the questionnaire, my mission was simple: Ask what they’re happy with, or not, and what is their ultimate message--not just to women, but to all people.
What I found most interesting was in translating the Spanish only answers to English. The more of these that I completed, the more I was gifted with a glimpse into each woman’s thought processes.
When I finished the translations, I realized that I had been handed pearls of wisdom and inspiration in each response.
Regardless of gender or language, there are lots of gems of knowledge included in the answers to our five simple questions.
This isn't a comprehensive list of all of the women in the Agave Spirits industries. This is just the tip of the iceberg.