Don Cenobio Sauza is know by many as the Father of Tequila. He was one of the earliest and longest lasting tequila distillers, and was responsible for much of the industry an economy in Jalisco and as a result of tequila's rising popularity.
Fortaleza is owned and operated by Don Cenobio's great great grandson, and is produced at the site owned by the Cenobio family, building on their generations of tequila distilling heritage and history. In crafting its spirits, Fortaleza honors the time-honored, artisanal methods used to create tequila and pioneered by Don Cenobio.
Sweet, mineral-rich agave from Jalisco is matured for at least 8 years before harvested. It is then slow-cooked in an old stone oven, with steam injected to help with caramelization and flavor development.
After 24 hours of cooling, the agave is hand-removed from the oven and stone-crushed, using a traditional tahona. A tahona is a large, 2-ton volcanic stone which crushes the agave fibers, releasing the sugar so that fermentation can occur. Though considered "inefficient" by many, stone-crushing is know to retain the best flavors and contribute to the best end result.
Fermentation happens in wood, open-air tanks. Destileria La Fortaleza uses a special yeast which has been in the family for generations. Nothing else is added to the process, not sugar nor yeast-accelerating chemicals. Fermentation at this rate takes about four days. Then it is distilled twice in the original 100+ year old copper pot stills. Fortaleza distills close to proof, to preserve as much of the agave flavor as possible.
Finally, the tequila is aged in used American oak barrels, which have been re-chipped and re-charred, lending the tequila depth and complexity.
Bottling happens on-site, in hand-blown bottles produced the same way they were produced 150 years ago. As a result, each one is a tiny bit different, testifying to the exceptional and original quality, care, and dedication of Fortaleza.