Meet the First Female Tequila Maestra
Bertha Gonzalez Nieves is the only women to be certified as a Maestra Tequilera by the Academia Mexican de Catadores de Tequila. What that means in English is Bertha is the world’s first female Master of Tequila. She did not get this title for drinking the most body shots in Cabo, au contraire. Bertha graduated Magna Cum Laude from Universidad Anahuan in Mexico City with a BA in Business Administration. She also holds a Masters of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School of Journalism & J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Then, she received the ‘Arthur E. Tatham Award’ for exceptional performance and outstanding promise in the field of marketing communications. So, not only does this Maestra know her tequila, she knows business.
And now she is making tequila her business with the launch of Casa Dragones Tequila Company, a handcrafted, limited edition tequila brand which she co-founded with legend and founder of MTV Bob Pittman. Casa Dragones is a 100% Blue Agave Joven tequila, handcrafted in small batches in Jalisco, Mexico, and considered a sipping tequila.
I had a chance to catch up with Bertha while she was staying at the St. Regis in San Francisco. She explains, “Like champagnes, cognacs, and some fine wines, tequila has an appellation of origin. This means tequila can only be produced in certain regions in Mexico. The harvest for Casa Dragones is cultivated on an estate 1200 meters above sea level in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. Here, the combination of soil, climate and altitude produces the ideal agave plants to create the signature taste of Casa Dragones.
Casa Dragones is properly tasted using a specially designed tequila glass by Reidel. First, pour a small amount into the glass, and swirl the tequila around slowly. Hold the glass up to the light to notice the brilliant platinum color and silken sheen, reflecting the purity of this tequila. Admire the long, pronounced legs clinging to the inside of the glass.
To properly identify the complex aromas, look at the glass from above and visualize this area divided into three parts. Start at the bottom of the glass, nosing Casa Dragones’ sweet cooked agave notes. Move your nose to the middle of the glass to sense the floral, honey and sweet citrus notes. Nosing the top of the glass will produce hints of mellow oak and spice.
Next, take a small sip of Casa Dragones and let it rest a few seconds. You will be embraced by a warm, smooth taste on your palate, with hints of vanilla and pear. Mid-palate, Casa Dragones opens and is delicately peppery and supple.
The finish is elegant and well-rounded, with a warm and clean conclusion in the throat. We recommend tasting Casa Dragones alongside any other tequila of your choice. First, take a sip of the other tequila. Next, take a sip of Casa Dragones. The uniquely smooth taste of Casa Dragones is remarkably apparent; one sip and you’ll immediately taste the difference.”
While in San Francisco, Casa Dragones hosted an exclusive tasting of Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila at Spruce restaurant in San Francisco for top industry professionals in the Bay Area. It was the first time that Karen MacNeil, author of the best-selling book The Wine Bible, used her expertise to create tasting notes for a tequila.