We had the honor of participating in Mafalda Wario’s prestigious radio column in which she interviewed our operational and logistical leader for Casa Sauza’s visitor center, Rafael Ramos Gomez. We invite you to read the interview.
Mafalda: We’re pleased to have Rafael Ramos Gomez, leader of operations and logistics for Casa Sauza’s visitor center. How are you, Rafael? Good afternoon.
Rafael: Hi, I’m doing very well, thank you so much. How are you?
Mafalda: Great, everything is going great. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit with us about what Casa Sauza represents. Before anything else I’d like to ask...Could you fill us in a little bit about the history? How did Casa Sauza become so well recognized?
Rafael: Of course, sure. Before anything, though, I just want to thank you for the invitation to come and be here with you all.
So, Casa Sauza was founded in 1873. It’s one of the oldest tequilerias to be producing our national drink of excellence, tequila. Nowadays it represents one of the most important—continues representing, these days, one of the most important tequila houses in the industry, on a global level.
Who founded the Casa Sauza?
As part of this history, can you tell us a little bit about who put the work into founding it?
Our founder, don Cenobio Sauza was a person who came to the land of tequila, Jalisco, when he was 18 years old.
Mafalda: Very young.
And well, yes, really very young. But he came with the mission of being an entrepreneur and getting ahead. So when he came to the land of tequila, he started working in a tequila distillery called the San Martin distillery.
After that, armed with the vision of having his own industry, his own empire, he decided to buy tequilas that were produced here in the region, and really sell those in the most important markets in the region, which at the time were—the San Marcos market in Aguascalientes, in Lagos de Moreno. And that is how he managed to promote the beverage, and then obviously later capitalize on it, and afterward buy the oldest distillery in the region in 1873, which is the Antigua Cruz distillery.
He purchased the distillery in 1873 and that is really when Cenobio Sauza became known worldwide, because he proposed that his product would become an exportation product, since within the first year that he bought the distillery he made his first sale and export of tequila Sauza to New Mexico in the United States.
That was part of don Cenobio Sauza’s motto, to be able to ...he did the work to make sure his product was going to be an exportation product and compete with the best whiskys and brandies in the world.
And that is truly how Cenobio Sauza was able to create tequila Sauza of Casa Sauza and the distillery which is nowadays called: “La Perseverancia”. (“Perseverance”)
And that was part of don Cenobio Sauza’s motto, to be able to...
In order to be able to be successful in life, one must persevere and be persistent. That was his motto and I believe that Cenobio Sauza achieved this. He was able to form this empire and he was able to...promote our national drink just as it is, on a global level.
To put it on the map, and he was always well known in the zone, and in the industry as one of the pioneers of the industry.
Let me tell you that Cenobio Sauza was also one of the first to put tequila inside of a glass bottle using a safety lid on it, and the first to apply a label with the name tequila, since before that it was called “mezcal wine”
So he decided to change the name or the aspect of mezcal wine by naming it tequila, just how we now refer to the beverage throughout the world.
Mafalda: Surely this was quite a challenge, and a challenge to accomplish during that time. But between then and now, the industry has transformed a great deal
What has Casa Sauza had to do, for example, to succeed in this transformation, and to continue adapting to new challenges and meeting the new trends of consumers?
What has changed in the production processes? How was it before and how is it now?
Nowadays a great deal or the majority of tequila companies continue to maintain the traditional process. That is, to produce tequila where agave is cooked and everything is done in a traditional way; cooking agave in a stone oven, extracting the juice of the already cooked agave to carry out the process of fermentation.
Here at Casa Sauza the truth is that along with Cenobio and his other 2 generations who were Eladio Sauza and Francisco Javier Sauza, we have always had a very important legacy in the industry. They continued observing how they could grow the industry in a way the benefited everyone, not just more for us.
Eladio Sauza saw tway to position tequila on a global level. Part of what he was able to obtain was the recognition of a tasting club in Paris, France, since Sauza was the first Latin American to receive them.
Francisco Javier Sauza slightly changed part of the process of the stone ovens. In their place, express pots or autoclaves can be used to execute the cooking of the plant.
These days, Casa Sauza can say that it is the largest tequila company in the industry.
Our process is totally different from the rest of the tequila houses. And when I say that I don’t mean to say that we are better, but there are some that are better than others.
Truly, all of the tequilas are very good quality, and processed very well. I’m certain of that, but I can confirm that Casa Sauza, these days, is one of the tequilas with the greatest innovation in its process, and we take a great deal of care in the quality of our products.
Above all, we are focused on each of the different palates that exist out there, searching for that profile and how palates have changed.
Obviously people before had a very different palate from people nowadays and the consumer is a bit more wide-ranging.
Whether we are talking about an adult, a young adult, including new generations that are starting to enter this world, we need to meet the standards of all of these profiles a little bit.
And that is really what we focus on at Casa Sauza, with all of the innovation that we are carrying out, and all that we are doing.
We are looking to be able to directly meet the palate of the person, and make sure that what the consumer is drinking is a very high quality product, with the best quality of standards that we provide.
Great, I think that what you have told us gives us a very broad idea about what this tequila house—Casa Sauza--is, and what it means. But if you had to describe it, would you maintain what you just told us in terms of it being an innovative house?
What would be the description that you give to Casa Sauza?
Well, I would describe it as Casa Sauza, the house with the greatest innovation in the tequila industry and a company that really cares. We don’t just go around talking about tequila but rather we are also a company that cares about the environment.
We’re also a company that is concerned about human resources and even cares for the people in the region. We give a little bit back to society, what it has offered to us.
A distillery like Casa Suaza; one of the tequilerias with the greatest innovation and one of the tequilerias that concerns itself not only with itself as a distillery, but also everything that is outside of it.