Chicago woman and third-generation agave farmer with deep roots in Mexico launches Tequila1349's new Reposado

Tequila 1349, founded by a Chicago businesswoman who is a third-generation agave farmer with deep roots in Mexico, has launched its second small-batch, additive-free Tequila profile, a premium Reposado that hit the shelves in 32 Binny's Beverage Depot locations throughout Illinois starting Thursday, Dec. 7.

The new tequila is made from 100% blue agave, using methods rooted in long-standing family traditions combined with modern innovations and a focus on sustainability. The Reposado and Tequila 1349's Blanco also are at Chicago's Moreno's Liquors and served in several local restaurants and bars, as well as available in Florida and online in 24 markets. They will debut in Texas in January 2024.

Tequila 1349 founder/CEO Lizzy Lopez broke into the competitive, male-dominated tequila scene just last May, with the debut of the premium Blanco, made from her own agave plants that grow on her land in the world-famous Golden Triangle highlands region of Arandas, Jalisco.

"Customers and the industry have embraced our crisp and refreshing Blanco," Lopez says. "I'm proud to build on that success by introducing our smooth and deep barrel-aged Reposado, which is perfect for cold-weather cocktails and the holidays."

The inspiration for Tequila 1349 began in 2016 when Lopez was gifted an acre of rich red clay fields on her family land. She planted 19 rows with 71 of her own blue weber agave in each row - for a total of 1,349 plants containing the sweet sap that is used to make tequila. She initially did this as an investment. But in 2020, she had the opportunity to partner with the team of third-generation master distillers at Aceves Spirits to begin creating a tequila profile and bringing it to life - and Tequila 1349 was born.

Since then, Lopez has expanded her farming significantly, each year adding thousands of agave plants in the sun-soaked fields of Arandas, where all Tequila 1349 production takes place. Lopez left her nonprofit career in the Chicago area and is now overseeing the tequila business, splitting her time between Chicago and Mexico. She wants to be hands on and ensure growing methods are "ecologically friendly, as well as supportive of the local community."

Lopez was born in Chicago but spent a lot of her youth in her family's community of Arandas, where she watched her grandfather and father acquire land and farm agave.

"Ever since I was a child, I have seen the rich traditions and craftsmanship that go into tequila making, from the long days of labor in the fields to the delicate distillation process," she says. "I'm proud to build on my family's legacy and make an impact in an industry normally reserved for fathers and sons."

Lopez says Tequila 1349 stays true to the traditions and culture that helped shape her, but the company is also an innovator taking a modernized, sustainable approach. This includes practices such as turning over soil rather than buying new, planting agave at a slight incline to prevent saturation and soil erosion, avoiding digging trenches to minimize flooding on neighboring land and playing music during fermentation because the sound frequencies are believed to influence quality and enhance the characteristics of the final product.

Lopez says Tequila 1349's traditions combined with modern innovations result in "a distinct profile that stands out for its exceptional taste and transports to another place and time." Tequila 1349's next expression will be an AƱejo, which is currently aging in barrels in Arandas and will be ready to hit the market in fall of 2024.

In the meantime, Lopez plans to hold Reposado tastings at select Binny's this season. The company also will continue its commitment to social responsibility, serving as liquor sponsor for upcoming charitable events and supporting many causes.

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