A Tequila Sun-Rising

Amid the agave spirits renaissance, a phenomenon sweeping the globe, India welcomed the debut of a true global titan in the NCR with Don Julio Tequila. Bearing the name of its illustrious founder, Don Julio Gonzalez-Frausto Estrada, who was a pioneer, with a backstory as rich as the spirit he crafted.

The story unfolds in the Mexican town of Atotonilco, Jalisco, where a young Julio Gonzalez presented the simple townsfolk with an audacious dream to establish his own distillery. This naturally met with some skepticism at the time, but failed to deter Julio, who confidently asserted that he would secure the necessary funds. Having been the sole provider for his household since his teenage years, Julio had so far honed his tequila-making skills at his uncle Jose’s distillery. He went on to establish the “La Primavera” distillery in 1942, and the rest as they say reshaped the tequila landscape. The distillery produced some of the finest tequilas under the moniker of ‘Tres Magueys’, eventually transitioning to the revered ‘Don Julio’ label.


Agave spirits are notorious for their luxury and expense, because of their extensive production process, namely the ripening period of agave plants, that ranges from seven to up to 25 years in certain varieties. Just the fact that a Tequilero (maker of tequila) spends years nurturing the plant, goes to show that they don’t see a penny in their till until the turn of the decade when it finally blossoms into a bottled spirit.

Don Julio’s agave plants, thriving in the mineral-rich red clay soil of the Highlands, underwent a distinctive growing process driven by a passion for quality rather than profit. Julio strategically spaced his plants—distanced more than usual—to enhance nutrient absorption, resulting in larger, sweeter agave fruits. This deliberate approach, paired with a prolonged maturation period of 7-10 years and planting less agave plants was defying industry norms back then itself.

At the India launch, we savoured two exquisite expressions of Don Julio’s labour: the Don Julio Blanco and the Don Julio Reposado. The Blanco, often referred to as “Plata” or “Silver,” represents the unaged tequila, serving as the foundational liquid for all other variants. Ideal for crafting Margaritas and Palomas, it sets the stage with an unparalleled cocktail experience.

Next up, the Reposado, meaning “rested”, mandates the spirit to be rested upwards of two months up to a year in barrels. Their Blanco was aged for eight months in American white-oak barrels. The result: an amber liquid with a mellow varietal flavour and a blissful aroma that captivated the senses. Whether enjoyed straight up, in an Old Fashioned, a highball with sparkling water, or indulgently over ice, the Reposado proved to be a sublime liquid and a personal favourite, just like it was for Don!

As for the bottle shape, in the earlier days, most tequilas were dispensed from long, obstructive vessels, hindering conversations and interactions at tables. This prompted them to introduce a small, round bottle as a practical solution to this unique predicament.

As the evening wore on, the spirits became feisty with Latino music and flamenco performers, which served as attractive entrées before the main course, reserved for the distinguished variants: Anejo, Rosado, Don Julio 70, and the extraordinary Don Julio 1942. While the burgeoning enthusiasm among agave enthusiasts is only scratching the surface currently, given the innovation that the world of agave has yet to unveil, it’s definitely poised to shake and stir passions as well as poisons.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

× How can I help you?