The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2013

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Cruz Tequila: A Quest for Perfection brands; they are a good fit for high-end accounts who want these types of spirits on their menus." While tequila was the starting place for TNS, the portfolio is already growing. "We are announcing the launch of our anticpated Sugar Island Spiced and Coconut Rums this month," says Torkelson, "and we're exploring some other spirit categories which we hope to announce in the coming months." Activating the Trade Pep Katcher, President of Cruz Tequila. "Cruz began with one concept: How do we create a better tequila?" says Pep Katcher, the brand's President. "We knew what we wanted to drink, and we wanted to make it, so we started with 650 bottles, not knowing if we'd ever sell a single one. " Fast-forward to the brand's partnership with Trinchero seven years later, and success seems to have been in the stars all along: "They approached us, and right away we knew it would be a good fit. Their attention to detail, their principals are in total synch with ours. " Double-distilled from 100% blue Weber agave from the highlands of Los Altos, Cruz Tequila has won countless awards for its smooth, intense-agave flavor, and was designed with the mixologist in mind. "We wanted to make sure that the agave is the highlight in the end-result cocktail, says Katcher. "The " industry gets what we're doing and they support that. " With a new beverage segment, Trinchero has also picked up a new customer base, namely the quality- and craft-minded mixology set, who look to events like Tales of the Cocktail to discover new products to bring home to their backbars. "By participating in events such as Tales of the Cocktail, Trinchero Family Estates and its spirit brands have an opportunity to become more ingrained in the spirits culture," comments Torkelson. "Tales was a natural fit and the predominant platform to reach the bartending and cocktail community." Agrees Chris Nicks, Vice President of Spirits and Imports, "One of the best ways to align our brands and make them more relevant with bartenders is using their unique expertise to help showcase our products." Nicks mentions the Dame Hall of Fame luncheon held during Tales, an event that celebrates the women in the mixology community and where Tres Agaves President Barry Augus discussed trends with women and tequila. "Tres Agaves was placed directly before the most nationally-acclaimed female mixologists, and it was an important moment to educate attendees on the brand so their consumers can become more comfortable ordering quality tequila," says Nicks. The Legacy Lives On It is this full-circle approach, from partnering with quality products, to teaching the sales force how to talk (and sell) tequila, that's been the launch pad for success for TNS. But ultimately, this blueprint has been in the works for years, with the legacy of excellence long established with Trinchero's business. "Trinchero has played a major role in the wine industry for decades," says Torkelson. "There are always risks and costs with any major initiative, but the experience of running a successful wine company is a natural transition for working with spirits, and as a company, we will continue to keep our finger on the pulse of industry trends that are in line with our mission." With both the wine and spirit segments under its watchful eye, Trinchero's tradition of excellence is sure to continue, driven, in part, by the family's dedication to constant innovation. Says Roger Trinchero, "No company can rest on its laurels and continue to be successful." There's certainly no resting here. Sugar Island: Next Up The third spirit rounding out the Trinchero portfolio, and the first innovation spirits brand, Sugar Island Rum will be released this month. A handcrafted rum made from Caribbean sugarcane, Sugar Island Spiced Rum is 92 proof and offers a balance of natural sugars and spices. The Sugar Island Coconut Rum is also rolling out this fall, made with 100% natural coconut flavors and smoothly sweet enough to be served neat. september 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  57 TP0913_034-62.indd 57 8/22/13 9:21 PM

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