Tequila Industry mourns the loss of an innovator

Statement by Diageo Global, Maggie Lapcewich President Global Tequila, Diageo plc

We are deeply saddened to announce that Don Julio González Estrada, the industry legend and founder of Tequila Don Julio passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2012.

Mr. González’s passion, devotion and innovative thinking changed the world’s perception of tequila. His namesake brand, Tequila Don Julio is the world’s first luxury tequila and helped create a new segment for the category. We are immensely proud to carry on his legacy and continue to craft a tequila that is worthy of his name.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family and those that were touched by his pioneering spirit. His main ingredient was passion and passion above all else defines excellence.

More about the life of Don Julio González Estrada

Tequila Don Julio™ is mourning the loss of the man responsible for our brand story. Don Julio González Estrada, founder of the extraordinary tequila that carries his name, was 87 years old when he passed away from natural causes on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Undoubtedly, this brings great saddens to our industry; however, we know that his legacy will live on.

Don Julio González Estrada, who came from humble beginnings, was born on the 7th of January of 1925 in Atotonilco, Jalisco. He was the third child of Carlos González and María Estrada Moreno. From an early age he learned the meaning of responsibility, a value he gained through working at his uncle José’s tequila distillery. In the 8 years he worked there he gained the experience, which unknowingly, years later would lead to the birth of an extraordinary tequila.

At 15 years old Don Julio González experienced the loss of his father, and became the head of his household. With the firm belief that success could be reached with hard work, Don Julio embarked on the difficult task of supporting his family. As a result of his need, he got a job as a farmhand where he received nine pesos a week. After seeing that his salary was insufficient, he persisted until he was able to start selling tequila in small wooden barrels throughout Ocotlán, Jalisco which belonged to the distillery where he worked in El Salvador, only a couple of hours away. This allowed him to gain those same nine pesos but this time on a daily basis.

Throughout his life Don Julio worked arduously, neither allowing himself to fail nor succumbing to adversities. He always fought and prevailed in his perseverance to achieve his goals. When he was 23 years old he wed Dorothea Garcia, whom he had met in Ocotlán and with whom he had 9 children. From then on, he and his wife created a mutual support, which they could count on for years to come.

Many describe the journey of Don Julio’s life as one that was honest, just and fair. He remained loyal to his beliefs and was committed to his work and family. The greatest success of his life is concentrated in 1942 when he started a tequila distillery which would later be known as “La Primavera” and by 1951, with the brand Tres Magueyes, he was on a path that would later ignite the traditions that have prevailed through Tequila Don Julio in its different variants: Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, 70, 1942 and Real.

It is an honor that each one of our bottles carries the name of the man who dedicated his life to one of our countries greatest icons: tequila. His values and philosophy will always thrive in the fabric of our brand.

May you rest in peace, Don Julio González Estrada.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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