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There is no doubt that many of our passions have been defined from childhood and within the family. B.ertha González Nieves Like many Mexicans, he grew up on Sundays with family meals wherever tequila was present.
Bertha says her grandmother made meals every Sunday and everyone started with a glass of tequila. And she asked when she was little:
-When do I have to try …? When?’
Until one day he drove his grandmother crazy and she replied:
-ALREADY! Now sit here with me, today you will try and stop bothering me.
“It was a very special moment and from then on I had a very strong affinity for tequila,” recalls Bertha.
For her, this drink is part of the Mexican tradition, “from the family table, from the social factory, how we treat each other, how we celebrate, how we cry, how we sing … Tequila is always present”, she tells us during an interview in February in a Polanco restaurant.
At the age of 22, Bertha was selected by the Japanese government and awarded a scholarship. In this program, she was tasked with studying the most representative Mexican industries worldwide. One of them was tequila.
As part of his investigation, he spent some time in Tequila, Jalisco, but after the third day of his arrival, he chose his parents and told them:
– “I know what i want to do! I want to dedicate myself to the tequila industry.
And as the entrepreneur tells us, her parents were the youngest of three children and the only woman worried, but since they knew her well, they had to accept it. “I think they thought, ‘If you think of the tequila problem, there’s no way to convince them to do anything else.'”
Bertha worked in the corporate sector for 10 years as a manager in national and international marketing and trading positions in José Cuervo Group. He highlighted his participation in the strategy to build the company’s global team in New York, United States.
For Bertha Gonzáles, tequila is part of the Mexican tradition / Image: Francisco Galarza via Unsplash
Dragon house essence
Bertha met at a party Robert Pittman, Businessman from media like MTV, who shared his desire to found a tequila house. The entrepreneur who had received her title as a tequila teacher, the first woman for whom years ago Tequila Regulatory Councilfound many coincidences with the businessman and founded them in 2009 Dragon house.
The vision that both had for Casa Dragones in those 11 years is to be a company that is part of the tequila producers who are driving this forward Ultra Premium categorywith ultra-modern and sustainable processes.
“In Mexico there is professionalism in all sectors (cinema, gastronomy, architecture and design), and you can see it because the name of the country is at the highest places in the world,” explains Bertha.
So, “we want to teach this within the tequila industry Craftsmanship (Handcrafted) Mexicans and increase everything we do here so that it really has the same value that is given in many other countries, ”he emphasizes.
Casa Dragones produces in small quantities, they do not produce more than 500 boxes per batch because they want to guarantee the complex and refined taste of a 100% pure young blue agave duck. There are also handicrafts in the bottles, each numbered and signed by hand.
And with the intention of training the palate to enjoy tequila. In 2016, Casa Dragones opened its own tasting room in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, an intimate six-seat bar that promises a sensory experience by trying cocktails made with the two brands of tequila offered by the brand: Casa Dragones Joven and Casas Dragones Blanco.
The tequila industry in Mexico has broken production and export records in recent years. In the first half of 2019, production reached 181.2 million liters, 13.5% more than in the same period last year, according to the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).
In addition, 100% agaventequila production was the category with the highest growth of 21.2% with 104.6 million liters. The United States remains the first export destination for the Mexican drink, to which 83.3% of the total liters produced were shipped. Other destinations are Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Women in the industry
There are two tequila masters at Casa Dragones: Benjamín García and Bertha, who are known as the first tequila teachers. However, she tried that this title does not create confusion. “It is very important that my opportunity is not determined by my gender, but by my commitment and professionalism, as well as by the team that I have by my side, to really build an important career in the tequila industry.”
The tequila industry consists of 152 companies certified by the Tequila Regulatory Council, 95% are in the hands of men and the rest are run by women, micro and small businesses, which account for 4.6% of total tequila production.
“Being the first tequila teacher becomes a huge responsibility for many generations of women who want to enter the industry. You need to know that it is about engagement, that we are well prepared to have the opportunity to get into the industry as best we can. “
One of Bertha’s goals was to leave the most advanced post for future generations of women. So it’s a blackboard that it says Legal dynamics, a very important group of lawyers in the United States who are changing the law to improve the conditions for gender equality in the professional world.
It is also involved in two other international institutions Women of the vine, of women in the beverage and wine industry and Women in hospitalityfocused on creating a platform for the development of women in the hospitality industry.
For Bertha, improving the conditions for women in Mexico has to do with profound questions: How can we create the platform for the development of women in the professional world? How can we create support groups for this development? How can we help the new generations to have a lot more opportunities?
And it all starts with basic education: “At school, we have to give girls more security so that we can teach them more negotiation and presentation tools. That they are better prepared and do not feel part of a minority, but part of a prepared group. This is the only way they feel safe to take advantage of the opportunities they really want. “
“At school, we need to give girls more security so that we can teach them more negotiation and presentation tools,” says Bertha González Nieves / Bild: Depositphotos.com
The tequila teacher tells us her goals for the coming years.
Casa Dragones focuses on the one hand on the Mexican market and on the other hand on the US market They offer many growth opportunities and also sell in Europe and the Caribbean.
Bertha tells us that her plan is to continue expanding the repertoire of tequilas on the market and to continue to invest in research and development to be innovative in this category. In addition, the organizational culture is to be further developed “so that Casa Dragones employees have the opportunity to discover their potential in this company and learn as much as possible in order to use their professional experience for the future of their careers.”
In addition, Bertha assures that they will try to consolidate their leadership position in the luxury and ultra-premium segment. “We really want to further expand our trajectory in this category.”
He admits that they need to be as entrepreneurial and smart as possible to get the funding that will enable them to grow the company in the long term.
“It is very important for us to create a tequila house that really has a long-term vision and that Casa Dragones can still be present in the tequila industry after many generations.”
A passion that few know about Bertha is that she loves the cinema and has been involved in the production of some films, such as Kill Cabos (2004)Directed by Alejandro Lozano. So we played around a bit and asked him: What would the film of his life be called? And who would run it?
Bertha replies that the film is her life Sixteen, This is the number in the heart of Casa Dragones that can be seen on the label. She would love to be directed by Sofía Coppola, who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation (2003).
“She is a friend of mine, I love her, I am fascinated by her work and I think it could be very interesting to take her to Mexico to write a story and capture the color and richness of Mexico” she says with emotions.
The 16, which is on the tequila label, was taken over by Bertha from one of the most important dates of the Mexican national holidays: on September 16, 1810, when “El Grito de Dolores” happened and it is the house number in The Casa Dragones is located in San Miguel Allende. “From there we can write a lot of stories from my life path,” he concludes.