Hand Selected Spirits

The Herradura Story

There are usually great stories behind a fine creation like Herradura Tequila. The first one I heard was about the origin of the familiar horseshoe in the logo. I was told that on a foreboding stormy night over a hundred years ago, Aurelio López Rosales was stuggling against torrential rains and wind toThe Story of the Horseshoe make his way home to the Hacienda San José del Refugio. As he rode through a field of Agave, a bolt of lightning struck across the field, causing his horse to rear, nearly throwing him to the ground. As he clung to the reins, the flash revealed a glimmer in the distance. Believing the flash to perhaps be gold that had been buried by the Spanish, only to be revealed by the nights' intense rainfall, he cantered to where he had seen the flash, and found instead a horshoe. Making it home safely that night, he decided the find was a sign, and thus a legend was born. So that's one story. It's a bit of an embellishment of the story I was told by Joe after he had visited Herradura recently. The "official" Herradura story is a tad less melodramatic, but quite romantic all the same.

This is a great example of what makes the exploration of fine drink so enjoyable. On the one hand, there are the simple facts of the base ingredients, where they are grown, and the technical aspects of production. But along the way to your It's a journey...glass is a lot of history, a lot of passion, and a lot of human experience that lends what you bring to your lips another layer entirely. And sharing your thoughts and knowledge of all of this with the friends who are sharing a drink with you is probably the most important story. And if the producer of the beverage has devoted themselves to creating the finest product they can, in the most suitable place to make it, the story will probably end well. And so it is with Herradura Tequila, arguably the finest Tequila made.

The full story of Herradura Tequila stretches all the way back to the early 1800's, when the Hacienda San José del Refugio was first established as "Hacienda de Padres", a place of residence for priests and laborers in the area Familynow known as Amatitán. Faith and family was to continue to play a major role in the story of what eventually became Casa Herradura. The family part of the story began when Félix López took possession of the Hacienda in 1870, officially registered it as a tequila-producing hacienda, and rechristened it "Hacienda San José del Refugio". The faith and Federales part of the story began in 1926, when his son Aurelio - a devout Catholic - immersed himself in the Cristero Rebellion , a bloody battle between church and state. The hacienda's many tunnels and hidden storage areas were used to aid the many who sought to escape the brutal crackdown on religion that led to the hangings of both clerics and laypeople. Eventually, Aurelio himself had to flee, spending several years in exile at the Vatican before returning to México. He never returned to the Hacienda; he left affairs in the able hands of his cousin David Rosales. At a time when mixto tequila (tequila made with the addition of sugar) was becoming a method of cutting expenses, Rosales insisted that Herradura continue to be made with 100% agave. In 1928, the brand of Tequila Herradura was officially registered with the horseshoe as the logo. Don David was one of the last of the family men to run things successfully, and from the mid-twentieth century to this day, women have played a leading role in the growth and success of Herradura.

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