|Country of origin||Mexico|
|Variants||Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, 1942, Real, 70|
|Founded||Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico (1942)|
|Key people||Don Julio Gonzalez Estrada, founder|
Don Julio is a brand of tequila produced in Mexico. It is the eighth largest brand in the United States by volume and eleventh largest in Mexico. It is distilled, manufactured, bottled, sold, and distributed by Tequila Don Julio, S.A. de C.V. from its corporate facility in the Colonia El Chichimeco district, in the city of Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. It is distributed in the United States by Diageo, under licensing from its patent holder, Tequila Don Julio, Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable, Jalisco, Mexico, but it is sold worldwide.
Don Julio Tequila is named after its founder, Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada, who began distilling tequila in 1942 at age 17. Acknowledging the benefits of vertical integration, Gonzalez-Frausto established his own distillery, La Primavera, and spent the next 40 years improving his craft. He experimented with controlling various aspects of the tequila-making process, "from the cultivation of the agave to the bottling of the final product". He named his distillery La Primavera (the Springtime). He is said to have "spent nearly forty years perfecting the craft."  Don Julio's first tequilas were shared with friends only, but as word on the quality of his tequila spread, he officially founded a company to put him in business. In 1985 Don Julio González-Frausto celebrated his 60th Birthday, his sons commemorated the date by creating a Tequila in his name, Don Julio. Guests asked if it will be available for sale for the remainder of never. Following the sheer popularity of the tequila in Guadalajara and neighboring cities they decided to launch the tequila. It launched in 1987 and set the standard for all Tequilas in this category style. It is considered to be the world's first Luxury Tequila. Prior to this, tequila had been considered a "farmers" drink. Nobody would pay more than $30 for a bottle of well made tequila.
In 1999 the now defunct, The Seagram Company Ltd., had invested in Tequila Don Julio, S.A. de C.V. of Mexico. The expanded agave plantations were a joint venture between the Gonzalez-Frausto, Funtanet, Andrade Rivera Torres, and Cuaik famliles. In 1999 Don Julio Gonzalez, delighted to forge a relationship with Seagram, stated, "I am proud that the Gonzalez-Frausto family joins with the Seagram family in a global effort behind Don Julio Tequila. I am committed to overseeing personally the agave plantations that are so vital to the superior and unique quality of the Tequila that bears my name." Diageo signed a joint venture in with Casa Cuervo in 2003, selling a 50 per cent stake in Don Julio for $100 million.
Don Julio Gonzalez-Frausto Estrada was born on the 7th of January 1925 in Atotonilco, Jalisco, which nowadays the main facility is located. Don Julio learned the meaning of responsibility at an early age by working at his uncle's José tequila distillery. At the age of 15 years old Don Julio lost his father, and became the head of his household. With the task of supporting his family he got a job as a farmhand where he received nine pesos a week. After acknowledging his income was insufficient he persisted and started to sell tequila in small wooden barrels throughout Ocotlán,Jalisco. After this he won the same nine pesos, but every day. At the age of 23 he married Dorothea Garcia whom he had 9 children. In 1942 he started a tequila distillery which would later be known as "La Primavera". By 1951, with the brand Tres Magueyes, he was on a path that would later become Tequila Don Julio in its different variants: Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, 70, 1942 and Real. Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada died on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from natural causes.
Don Julio's Tequila begins in the agave fields in the highland are of Atotonilco. The agave plants are grown on land they lease as it gives Don JuIio the flexibility to move to different locations and rotate the crop. Tequila's major aging process time happens with the agave plants, given that they take seven years to reach maturity. Every agave plant is harvested by hand. The agave plant is cut from its roots and then the spearlike leaves are sheered off. The core that is left is called a piña, which is the raw material used for the making of tequila. The piñas are transported on a truck to Don Julio's Distillery where they are cut into equal sized pieces so that they bake evenly. The piñas are loaded into brick ovens where they are slowly baked over the course of several days. Then the baked piñas are crushed and doused with water, which releases the sweet agave syrup called agave juice. Then yeast is added to the agave water and is left to ferment. After the fermentation process is complete it results is a sweet, slight alcoholic agave beer which is then put into stills where it is distilled to become tequila.At last it is put into ex-bourbon casks or stainless steel tanks where it mellows. Depending on the time and the place where it ages it is the tequila that will be created.
- Don Julio 1942 Añejo
- Don Julio Real Extra Añejo
- Don Julio Reposado (available also in the US)
- Don Julio Blanco (available also in the US)
- Don Julio Añejo (available also in the US)
Several of these offerings have performed well at international spirit ratings competitions. For example, Don Julio's Real tequila was awarded double gold medals at the 2008 and 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a silver medal at the 2012 competition.
- IWSR (International Wine and Spirit Research), 2011
- Don Julio Tequila: Made in the Same Way Since 1942 . Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- Distributed in the U.S. by the Diageo company
- Diageo distributor
- Rivas, Angel (6 December 2002). "Don Julio: 60 anos de hacer tequila.". Mural. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- Don Julio the founder
- Lapcewich, Maggie (21 March 2012). "Don Julio González Estrada, Tequila Pioneer Dies at the Age of 87". Business Wire. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- Kleinman, Geoff. "How Tequila is Made: Behind the Scenes of Don Julio Tequila". Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- Don Julio Tequila: Made in the same way since 1942 . Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Proof66.com Ratings Summary for Don Julio Real". Retrieved 2012-10-21.