In a continuously expanding spirits market, it's often hard to discern which brands are bringing forth a long storied history of craftsmanship and taste—but not with Moet Hennesey.
The illustrious team is world renown not only for attention to detail but an unwavering commitment to craftsmanship and heritage, and that legacy continues with its latest iteration of outstanding tequila, Volcán De Mi Tierra.
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With a recent debut in Las Vegas, Volcán X.A earned praise for its silky smooth taste, making it perfect to sip neat or over ice. We sat down with Santiago Cortina Gallardo, Volcán De Mi Tierra’s COO, about what to expect from Moet Hennesey’s latest expression and what makes his family's 200,000 year old tequila so special.
Volcán X.A debut party at Zouk Las Vegas
How did your family get started in the tequila business?
Volcán De Mi Tierra’s true beginnings date back over 200,000 years, when the Tequila volcano erupted and fertilized the soil of the Jalisco region in Mexico. Today, our distillery sits at the foot of the volcano, which inspired the name Volcán De Mi Tierra, meaning “Volcano of my land.”
Volcán De Mi Tierra was created when Juan Gallardo met the former chairman of Moet Hennessy (Christoph Navarre). After commenting on the opportunity around tequila, the chat blossomed into a partnership between LVMH and my family in 2014 in the form of a JV.
With a portfolio of some of the most prestigious wines and spirits on the market, at that time Moët Hennessy faced the challenge of how to craft a world-class tequila. With the collaboration of my family, we were able to build Volcán from the ground up and ultimately produce an innovative portfolio of tequila’s that are steeped in tradition.
Our Family has roots in the area that date back over 300 years, with a long tradition in the production of agave spirits at Hacienda La Gavilana, so it was important for us to celebrate our heritage and Mexico’s centuries-old tequila-making techniques as we brought Volcán to life.
Jalisco obviously has quite a few agave farms that affect the final Tequila. What makes Volcán so distinctive?
Each of our expressions is a true celebration of terroir and, unlike many other tequilas, is crafted from 100 percent Blue Weber Agave that’s sourced from the highlands and the lowlands, which allows for a greater depth of flavor and complexity. We are also one of the incredibly small number of brands that are produced in our own dedicated distillery, NOM 1523, where everything is done by hand from start to finish. We also blend different traditional production processes and casks (European & American oak).
All Volcán De Mi Tierra tequila profiles are blends. Everything we do at Volcán is executed with 100 percent heart and no shortcuts, additives or synthetics are utilized in the process.
What's one of the biggest misconceptions you hear about tequila?
There’s a few! First, tequila is an incredibly complex, flavorful spirit that is meant to be sipped and savored, opposed to drinking as fast as possible and chasing with salt and a lime. While not all brands are created equally, by choosing one like Volcán that marries innovation and tradition, you’ll see a whole new side of the spirit. Also, in Mexico you’ll typically only find tequila served neat, over ice or with sangrita. Margaritas are much less common in Mexico than in the U.S.!
Another misconception is that an aged tequila is always better in quality than unaged. Depending on your preference, blanco can be a great selection if you’re interested in tasting a pure expression of tequila and cooked agave flavors without the notes and aromas that are imparted on the liquid from aging. What should tequila taste like? Always look for cooked agave. Any tequila that comes forward as vanilla, caramel, etc., might be using additives.
Volcán X.A - how does it differ from the Volcán reposado and añejo blends?
Unlike the other expressions in the portfolio, X.A (extra ages) is a special assemblage and blend of ages, unveiling complex layers of flavors and aromas from each classification: reposado (Aged) from our proprietary Grace casks, añejo (Extra Aged) and extra-añejo (Ultra Aged). The reposado base brings the right level of sweetness and smoothness, while añejo and extra-añejo add aromatic elegance and complexity.
What’s the best way to drink Volcán X.A?
The best way to enjoy X.A is neat or over ice, given how incredibly smooth and easy to drink it is. The tequila is crafted without the use of additives and has no bite or after-taste, so you’ll want to sip and savor it all night. It’s an incredible quality tequila, with beautiful cooked agave flavors, so I’d recommend enjoying it neat or with a few ice cubes in order to fully enjoy its depth of flavor, and opting for one of our core range expressions for mixing.
When can people expect it in stores, as it’s currently available mostly in restaurants and nightclubs?
It takes 10 years to craft a single bottle of X.A, which is produced in extremely limited quantities in our dedicated distillery, so we had to be very intentional about where it would be available. We made the decision to be readily available in select restaurants and nightclubs worldwide, instead of widely available on and off-premise for a very limited time. This distribution strategy was the most logical path for us to reach our target consumer; those who seek out ultra-premium, rare offerings and drive desirability among them. We are working on having a few select retailers to have it available by end of year.
Learn more about Volcán X.A and Volcán De Mi Tierra’s products, process and history at volcan.com.
Photography by: Courtesy of Volcán De Mi Tierra