Tequila producers are often faced with the choice of whether to use natural or artificial ingredients. Additives can be brought in between aging and bottling to give the tequila extra flavor or a different color. But the step in which so very many brands use artificial ingredients is during fermentation. Because most distilleries depend on outside yeast.
In fact, Tequila Herradura is the only one to choose natural. This 100% natural fermentation process helps give Herradura its one-of-a-kind flavor profile—the kind of flavor that made Herradura the world’s most gold-medal-awarded tequila, according to Infiniti Research Inc.
So if natural fermentation leads to better-tasting tequila, why aren’t more brands following Herradura’s example and keeping things natural?
It’s partly a matter of time. It takes 96 hours of natural fermentation to give Herradura’s tequila its unparalleled complexity and full-bodied flavor. Not many tequila brands have the patience to let nature do its work.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Most large tequila distilleries couldn’t use 100% natural fermentation even if they tried, at least not to the same effect as Tequila Herradura. That’s thanks to the 16 different species of fruit trees on the grounds of Casa Herradura, the last true tequila-producing hacienda on the planet.
Since their creation, hundreds of years ago, authentic haciendas in Mexico were agriculturally self-sufficient. The fruit trees on the hacienda grounds helped meet that requirement, but they also made natural fermentation possible, up to today. Each tree species has its own strain of yeast. These are combined in the natural fermentation process and lead to a flavor that could only be created on the grounds of Casa Herradura.
It’s often said that fermentation is the one step in tequila production that can’t be controlled. You can only watch as the juice within the fermentation tank churns, swirls and bubbles and eventually calms to a standstill.
It’s true that you can’t control what happens during fermentation. But what you do before that process begins can make all the difference. Sure, going the natural route will take more time and requires the perfect circumstances.
After one sip of Tequila Herradura, you’ll realize natural fermentation is worth the extra time and effort.