As stated in yesterday’s blog, I was invited by my friends, Bob and Veronique Pittman, to the quaint Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende, to celebrate the successful launch of Casa Dragones, their fabulous artisanal tequila. Casa Dragones is unlike any other tequila. Their Maestro Tequilero begins with the centuries-old art of tequila making using blue agave and modernizes it through an innovative process. The result is an extremely smooth tequila with a refined character and a soft finish – a true sipping tequila.
Casa Dragones not only tastes great, but it looks great, too. In fact, they are the first Mexican brand to win the most prestigious product design award in France! The lovely and historic hacienda, La Casa Dragones, is home to this fantastic tequila and we went there for a tequila tasting and a glass engraving demonstration. Please enjoy more photos of my fun trip to Mexico.
1 Tequila industry expert, Bertha Gonzalez, runs the tequila business with Bob Pittman - she is the co-founder and CEO of Casa Dragones. La Casa Dragones is a very beautiful house where they have tequila tastings and pairings.
2 The wall behind the bar in the interior courtyard of Casa Dragones has a lovely display of the sky blue packaging and the handcrafted, pure, lead-free crystal bottles.
3 This is Jose Cruz Guillen, a master glass engraver with his handmade, portable, engraving wheels. He takes the craft very, very seriously.
4 We were treated to a tequila tasting and a demonstration of the pepita engraving process.
5 This sharply angled stone makes very fine cuts in the hand-crafted crystal bottles.
6 The wheels run through water to keep them moist and cool.
7 Each bottle is crafted by hand in Mexico City, using pure, lead-free crystal. Skilled artisans place the red-hot crystal in molds, one by one, until the shape takes hold.
8 Holding the bottle on an angle, the engraver begins the process. A fine black ink line marks the position for the engraving.
9 Steady hands are imperative.
10 The Pepita, so named because the engravings look seed-like - literally translated, Pepita means 'small seed.'
11 Adding another detail
12 This tradition first began in Spain and was brought to Mexico in the 1500s when Rodrigo de Espinoza opened Mexico's first glass factory in Puebla.
13 The bottom of the carafe is engraved with a star-like shape, representing the agave plant from which tequila is made.
14 What a wonderful carafe with clear identification. The bottle by the way, comes with a glass stopper so it can be reused as a wine carafe or water bottle.
15 This wheel can do a lot of magic.
16 Jose Cruz Guillen can even decorate a very thin glass light bulb.
17 Simply amazing!
18 A closeup of the fine detail
19 This is the 'art display' in a new modern hotel in San Miguel de Allende called Hotel Matilda.
20 Very, very chic and striking
21 This is the symbol for the tequila which appears in all the literature and on the packaging.
22 The wonderful sky blue box
23 The flap on the box is secured with invisible magnets.
24 Each limited edition bottle is signed and numbered by hand, hallmarking the characteristics of a particular batch.
25 This entire approach takes time and expertise, making it possible to produce only a small amount of Casa Dragones each year.
26 The Casa Dragones philosophy is part of the packaging.
27 The glass stopper completes the package.
28 Casa Dragones is the first Mexican brand to win the most prestigious product design award in France.