By Stefanie Collins, editor BARS&clubs

With the agave spirits trend showing no signs of abating, distributor Vanguard Luxury Brands has expanded its range with Don Fulano Tequila and Derrumbes Mezcal joining its portfolio.

According to the company the Don Fulano distillery is so well thought of in Mexico that Guillermo Erickson Sauza, owner of the famed Fortaleza distillery in the town of Tequila in Mexico, actively encourages his visitors to head down the road to Don Fulano.

According to Vanguard's CEO, James France, Sauza always encourages his guests to visit that distillery as well as his own, because he sees Fortaleza and Don Fulano as complementary brands rather than competitors, with Sergio Mendoza from Don Fulano also having a long and respected family history in the tequila industry.

Mendoza explains: “Most of us (Calle 23, Fortaleza, Ocho, Don Fulano) are continually working together in shows and events around the world and we’re glad to be joining these other wonderful brands in the Vanguard portfolio.”

“It made great sense to add Don Fulano to our agave portfolio since the brands are both so special and their owners are such good amigos,” France added.

According to Mendoza, the brands all work in tandem, as they all have “unique” profiles.

“Ocho is a very Highland rustic tequila, while Fortaleza has a very rustic Valley profile. In contrast, Don Fulano has a mixed profile of 100 per cent Highland agave but fermented and distilled in the Valley, then is part aged again in the Highlands.

“The profile is less rustic and more structured as we create profiles from multiple batches and 100 per cent dark European oak for ageing. And of course all brands (or distillers) are family owned for multiple generations.”

Also joining the Vanguard portfolio is a brand from another friend of the industry, Esteban Morales, with Derrumbes Mezcal.

Morales has been at the forefront of responsibly promoting artisan Mexican spirits such as his Raicilla, La Venenosa. He is also the owner of a range of mezcals under the Derrumbes brand name, and this is what Vanguard will be adding to its portfolio.

According to Morales, Derrumbes is focused on showing how different mezcal can be, depending on its state of origin in Mexico.

“We choose mezcals that represent the history of their own areas with their own ways of production and the native agaves. Only one of our mezcals comes from Oaxaca. We do a journey around Mexico and we plan to focus on more mezcals from regions outside of Oaxaca.”

Vanguard will be starting by taking over the existing inventory of both brands from Brands 2 Bars. Opening stocks will be of two products only: Don Fulano Blanco tequila and Derrumbes Oaxaca mezcal. More products from these brands will be added during the next few months.

“I’d like to thank Guillermo Guadarrama from Brands 2 Bars for this great opportunity. Guillermo did a great job in getting these brands into the Australian market and we wish him all the very best in the future,” said France.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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