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The Story of How Cincoro Tequila Got Started


Cincoro has become one of the most expensive brands that can be found in the tequila market. This is impressive because the concept came into existence in 2016. However, it is important to note that Cincoro is being backed by some very well-known names, which has contributed much to its success.

Here it Is

For those who are curious, Cincoro is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for "five" and "gold." As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that it was created by five individuals. Out of the five, the best-known would be Michael Jordan, the NBA superstar of the 1980s and 1990s who has since become an NBA part-owner. However, the others are in the same business, seeing as how they consisted of the Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens, Boston Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, and Grousbeck's then-fiancee Emilia Fazzalari. Originally, the five weren't very familiar with one another. However, they met up at a high-end pizza joint in Manhattan to discuss business, where they proceeded to bond over their shared fondness for tequila. Eventually, this led to them discussing their desire for a tequila with a long, smooth finish. Something that made the five realize that there was an opportunity for something new in said market.

Cincoro has always insisted that its product is more than just a repackaging of an existing product. This may or may not be accurate depending on one's definition for such things. After all, Cincoro didn't set up its own tequila distillery, which to be fair, makes sense because any such operation would need years and years to get off of the ground. Instead, it purchased its tequila from an existing tequila distillery that produces product for more than 100 tequila brands. Still, it would be an exaggeration to say that Cincoro is nothing but a repackaging of an existing product, seeing as how it was still very much involved in coming up with its own particular blends. In fact, three of the five founders headed up the tasting team, which worked their way through more than 1,000 samples before coming to a conclusion on the matter. On top of this, there was a lot of effort put into coming up with the perfect bottle by working with artisanal glassmakers situated in Mexico.

Something that tends to be quite important in not just the market for tequila but also the markets for other distilled spirits. As for why the five decided to commit millions of dollars to a tequila brand, it is worth mentioning that the commercial potential of the tequila market has been clear for quite some time. Simply put, tequila has become very popular in the United States, so much so that the country was responsible for more than half of the total tequila consumption in the entire world at the time. Moreover, that was no more than a tenth of the total consumption of distilled spirits in said country, which in turn, meant that was no more than a hundredth of the total consumption of distilled spirits in the entire world. Under those circumstances, it was no wonder that tequila consumption has been seeing further growth in recent times. Something that has proven to be very beneficial for premium tequila brands. In other words, while the five had a shared fondness for tequila, they were quite grounded when it came to entering the tequila market.

What Is the Definition of Tequila Anyways?

Moving on, it is worth mentioning that tequila is a distilled spirit made using the blue agave. It is a designation of origin product, meaning that tequila isn't considered true tequila unless it was produced in very specific geographical origins. A total of five Mexican states are considered to be capable of producing tequila. However, the overwhelming majority of the distilled spirit is produced in the state of Jalisco, which includes that which is sold under the Cincoro brand. This can be seen in how tequila can be produced throughout Jalisco. In contrast, tequila can be produced in a very limited number of municipalities in the other four states. For example, just 30 municipalities in Michoacan are allowed to produce tequila. Similarly, just 7 municipalities in Guanajuato are allowed to produce tequila. In case it isn't clear, people take these matters very seriously, which makes sense because protecting the rights is critical for protecting the value of the distilled spirit as a whole.

In any case, tequila production can be quite time-consuming. Primarily, this is because of the plant rather than the aging process. Blue agaves take a minimum of six years to mature. However, those that have been grown in the highlands can take much longer, thus resulting in a potential maximum of 12 years to mature. Considering that Cincoro tequila makes use of blue agave grown in both the highlands and the lowlands, it is no wonder that the brand decided to go to an existing tequila distillery. On top of this, it should be mentioned that the blue agave plant flowers once before dying, meaning that tequila producers have a limited window of opportunity in which to preserve the plant's starch by removing the flower once it has sprouted. As for the aging process, the exact period sees variation from brand to brand. Even so, it is notable that even its extra añejo takes just 40 to 44 months, which is relatively short compared to the aforementioned growing time of the blue agave.

When Did People Start Producing Tequila?

On a final note, it is interesting to note that tequila has a predecessor called pulque that has been produced for millennia and continues to be produced in Mesoamerica. It is known to have been quite important to pre-Colombian peoples in the region. To name an example, the Aztecs had a god of pulque as well as a goddess of the agave. Later, it is believed that the Spanish started experimenting with the production of new distilled spirits, thus resulting in mezcal. Technically, every single tequila is a mezcal, but not every single mezcal is a tequila. This is because mezcal is a distilled spirit made using any kind of agave. For comparison, tequila is specifically made using the blue agave in select parts of Mexico. Eventually, the Cuervo family received the first license to produce tequila for commercial purposes. In this, they were followed by others, thus paving the way for the tequila industry that exists in the present time.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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