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Moët Hennessy Launches Volcan De Mi Tierra, Staking Its Claim In The Upscale Tequila Boom

May 1, 2017

Moët Hennessy today introduces Volcan De Mi Tierra, its much-anticipated super-premium Tequila brand, which has been in development for nearly three years.

Volcan De Mi Tierra launches with two expressions: a Blanco ($39.99 a 750-ml.) and a Cristalino ($59.99). The initial rollout will be in the key urban markets of New York, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago. The focus is on-premise, where the brand will seek to penetrate upscale, cocktail-driven restaurants and bars. It will also be sold in Mexico.

Volcan De Mi Tierra is a joint venture between Moët Hennessy and the Gallardo family, whose lineage in Mexico dates back to the 17th century. The Gallardos have strong links to the state of Jalisco, and their business activities include cane sugar production and distribution of Pepsico products for the Mexican market.

The Volcan De Mi Tierra name, which translates as “Land of the Volcano,” is inspired by its distillery’s location near the base of the Volcan de Tequila, a long-dormant volcano and the region’s most famous landmark. The distillery sits near the town of Huaxtla in Jalisco’s lowlands valley. It was acquired several years ago by the joint venture and modernized, and has been producing since last summer.

“We looked at many properties of all sizes and we were determined not to rush things,” says Trent Fraser, the joint venture’s president and CEO. “This isn’t a short-term endeavor. We’re building something for generations.”

Master distiller Anna Maria Romero Mena, one of Tequila’s few female master distillers, has been tapped to oversee production of this 100% blue agave label. Her concept is a blend of highland and lowland Tequilas that creates what she calls a complex, yet terroir-driven style. The Blanco, which blends the herbaceousness of lowlands agave with the citrus and floral notes of the highlands, is best mixed in cocktails or served neat. The Cristalino, also a blend of highland and lowland liquid, is an Añejo whose color has been extracted to create a clear, but aged Tequila that’s best served neat or over ice.

Upscale Tequilas are on fire in the U.S. market, where the category’s share of 100% blue agave Tequilas has risen from 23% in 2005 to over 50% today. In 2016, total Tequilas priced at $40 and above grew by 11% to 3.26 million cases, according to Impact Databank. The $40-and-above segment now comprises about 21% of the category in the U.S., up from 13% a decade ago.

Patrón remains the overwhelming leader in the coveted $40-and-above segment, growing by nearly 10% last year to 2.3 million cases. Also soaring at $40-and-above are Don Julio (up 23% to 375,000 cases) and Herradura (up 13% to nearly 160,000 cases). With the exception of Patrón, brand volumes in this segment are within striking distance for new entrants like Volcan De Mi Tierra. —David Fleming

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