100-Point Napa Valley Vintner’s 100% Additive-Free Tequila Sells for $10,000 in its Debut Auction
NAPA, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — With its eye-catching label, elegant flavor profile, and jaw-dropping auction debut, El Negocio Tequila was turning collectors’ heads months before its official release. A pure, 100% additive-free sipping tequila made by a third-generation Master Distiller and conceived by a 100-point Napa Valley vintner, the first preview bottle of El Negocio sold for a staggering $10,000 at auction – a remarkable feat. Today, that premiere vintage of El Negocio officially arrives in the United States.
El Negocio, which means “The Business” in Spanish, was founded by Napa Valley vintner Adam Craun and entrepreneur Nicholas Lutz. Craun, a classically trained artist, philanthropist and co-founder of the cult powerhouse Memento Mori, is now focused on bridging the two worlds of fine wine and tequila. Though the flavor profiles could hardly be more different, El Negocio underscores the unbridled edge of tequila with a nuanced restraint and deference to terroir more commonly associated with collector-worthy wine.
“El Negocio represents the apex of our three most defining passions – pure, authentic, additive-free tequila, benchmark wine, and sleek, modern design,” said Lutz. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to launch this label starting with our Blanco, and there is still so much more to come.”
For Craun and Lutz, there was only one Jalisco Valley partner they ever wanted to work with – Master Distiller Salvador Rosales Trejo, better known as “Chava.” His grandfather was the tequilero who founded Fabrica de Tequila El Cascahuín in the town of El Arenal, and today Chava is among a very small handful of producers making tequila with traditional methods to protect the rich heritage around it.
While most mass-produced tequilas are made using the sweeter Jalisco highlands agave, Chava, Craun and Lutz chose the more traditional Zona Valles terroir in the Jalisco lowlands. This region produces extremely limited quantities of Blue Weber Agave, and its mineral-rich volcanic soil, known as tierra negra, imparts more sophisticated, savory notes to the tequila. Known as the Tequilana Weber, the Blue Weber is smaller than its highland cousins, and the result is a more vivid concentration of flavor. It is this very agave that is responsible for El Negocio’s meticulously crafted, premiere vintage Blanco release.
The piña of the Tequilana Weber is cooked in a brick oven, extracted using 30% tahona stone wheel and 70% roller mill techniques. While the rustic tahona method is not the most efficient, it produces more floral, aromatic results that maintain the integrity of the agave flavor. The pulp is then fermented in stainless steel and is double distilled in a copper pot. Due to the rare agave that goes into El Negocio, the small-batch tequila is produced in very limited runs, with just 700 cases produced.
The Blanco is 40% ABV and debuts at $90 per 750ml bottle.
El Negocio is officially confirmed Additive Free by Tequila Matchmaker, a designation that was a non-negotiable for Craun and Lutz from the start, and equally important to Chava with every tequila he makes at El Cascahuín.
Craun says, “According to Tequila Matchmaker, over 94% of tequila consumed in the United States comes from distilleries that use additives like syrup and coloring to make one homogenized flavor profile, masking changes that naturally occur from year to year. Our fine-wine roots taught us to embrace these nuances. We work hand in hand with Chava, who also believes in celebrating each vintage as a true and unique expression. Our additive-free tequila honors the traditions passed down across his family’s three generations of master distillers. At El Negocio, we want the artisanal nature of tequila making to show through, just like it does across the vintages of a fine wine.”
The sleek El Negocio label was designed by Craun and Lutz, featuring a bold handshake between a man and a skeleton, meant to represent its namesake while nodding to Memento Mori’s Danse Macabre ethos and imagery. The insignia is framed by a snake eating its tail, which represents Ouroboros – a symbol used throughout history that represents the infinite cycle of life, death and rebirth. As a nod to serious collectors and tequila aficionados, every bottle from El Negocio’s premiere vintage is individually numbered for authenticity.
The founders are as concerned with El Negocio’s sustainability as they are with its origins and purity. Nodding to Cascahuín’s use of deep well water, the label has partnered with Charity Water, committing $1 from every bottle of El Negocio that is sold to the international organization’s commitment to building clean and safe wells for drinking water around the world.
El Negocio’s deep connection to wine and its Memento Mori sister label will grow more visible later this fall, when El Negocio’s first two French oak-aged expressions arrive. Also certified additive-free, both the Reposado ($120) and Joven ($200) benefit from time spent aging in barrels previously used to age Memento Mori, imparting the nuanced sophistication that has helped earn the Napa Valley label’s $300+ wines a cult following and 100-point critical acclaim. Blanco Rosa, Añejo and Extra Añejo releases are also on the horizon once they complete their barrel-aging process.
About El Negocio
El Negocio is a pure, 100% additive-free tequila label founded by entrepreneurs Adam Craun and Nicholas Lutz. The label debuted in fall 2023 with the release of El Negocio Blanco Tequila (SRP $90), after a preview bottle sold for $10,000 at a top Napa Valley auction. El Negocio is made by third-generation Master Distiller Chava Rosales at his family’s Fabrica de Tequila El Cascahuín – among Jalisco’s very small handful of producers that are making additive-free tequila the traditional way. With foundational ties to Memento Mori, Napa Valley’s cult, 100-point Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, El Negocio is singularly focused on bridging the worlds of fine wine and tequila. For more information on El Negocio or to join the mailing list, please visit elnegociotequila.com.
SOURCE El Negocio Tequila
Sipping Sunshine: Celebrating National Margarita Day
Celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22nd with a glass rimmed with salt, savoring the taste of summer whether on the rocks or blended! 🍹☀️ #NationalMargaritaDay
February 22nd marks a beloved occasion for cocktail enthusiasts worldwide – National Margarita Day! This festive day invites individuals to raise their glasses and indulge in the tangy, refreshing flavors of this iconic beverage.
The classic Margarita, with its perfect blend of zesty lime, smooth tequila, and a touch of sweetness, encapsulates the essence of summer in every sip. Whether you prefer it on the rocks, elegantly garnished with a salted rim, or blended to icy perfection, National Margarita Day is a celebration of versatility and taste.
Beyond its delightful flavors, the Margarita embodies a spirit of relaxation and enjoyment. It’s a drink that beckons you to unwind, kick back, and savor the moment. Whether shared with friends at a lively gathering or enjoyed solo as a personal indulgence, the Margarita has a way of brightening any occasion.
So, on this National Margarita Day, take a moment to treat yourself to this timeless cocktail. Allow yourself to be transported to a sun-soaked beach with every sip, relishing the flavors and embracing the carefree spirit that the Margarita embodies.
Whether you’re a devoted Margarita aficionado or new to the world of tequila-based delights, National Margarita Day is the perfect excuse to raise a glass, toast to good times, and celebrate the joy of this beloved cocktail. Cheers to National Margarita Day – a day dedicated to sipping sunshine in a glass!
TEXAS-BASED AUSTIN COCKTAILS NAMED OFFICIAL CANNED COCKTAIL PARTNER OF THE PROFESSIONAL PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION
Rapidly Growing, Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Company Is Tapping into the #1 Growing Sport In The U.S.A.
AUSTIN, Texas /PRNewswire/ — This month, Austin Cocktails and the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) are announcing a multi-year marketing partnership, introducing the brand as the “Official Canned Cocktail Partner of the PPA Tour.” Austin Cocktails is a female-founded, premium cocktail brand that is tapping into the national pickleball craze with an all-out campaign in partnership with the PPA Tour, targeting the sport’s most loyal fans. From activations and venue takeovers to swag, sponsorships, and social collaborations, Austin Cocktails is becoming synonymous with the hottest cultural phenomenon to reach consumers and pickleball devotees across the nation.
“We are thrilled to become the PPA Tour’s exclusive spirit-based ready-to-drink and ready-to-serve sponsor. Pickleball is a huge part of my family and community already. I have seen the rapid growth and participation first-hand for players of all levels, including my son whose college team recently won the National Championship,” says Austin Cocktails Co-Founder Jill Burns. “Austin Cocktails knows what it’s like to break new ground like the PPA and are honored to partner with them as the growth of this sport continues.”
“Pickleball and the PPA Tour are synonymous with fun and camaraderie, and Austin Cocktails is the perfect partner to help elevate that experience to fans,” said Kim Pettit, Vice President of Partnerships at the PPA Tour. “We are excited to welcome Austin Cocktails to our spectacular events across the country and share in the joy of pickleball and a good beverage!”
Cocktail enthusiasts and pickleball fans will be able to attend the tour’s scheduled tournaments and events this year to watch the world’s top professional pickleball players, while enjoying Austin Cocktails drinks courtside. Available in three varieties— Bergamot Orange Margarita, Cucumber Vodka Mojito, and Fred’s Ruby Red Cocktail— these full-strength, spirit-based cocktails are made with natural ingredients and sweetened with just a touch of agave. Subtle carbonation helps deliver a balanced, elevated clean taste in the convenience of a can.
For more information about this year’s PPA Tour scheduled events and tournaments, please visit PPATour.com, and for more information about Austin Cocktails, please visit AustinCocktails.com. Follow along via @AustinCocktails #AustinCocktails
About Austin Cocktails
Austin Cocktails is an Austin-based premium cocktail brand founded by two sisters. The brand was inspired by their grandfather’s tradition of “Cocktail Time,” an inviolable family ritual of dropping everything at 5 o’clock to have a cocktail with everyone around at the end of a long day. Mixed with premium spirits and complex, natural ingredients, Austin Cocktails offers consumers an elevated flavor experience with pour over simplicity, delivering more spirit, complexity, balance, and naturally less sugar. At 12.5% ABV, Austin Cocktails is available in three distinct varieties ranging from 95-122 calories – Bergamot Orange Margarita, Cucumber Vodka Mojito, and Fred’s Ruby Red Cocktail. Simply pour over ice and garnish to enjoy.
About Carvana PPA Tour:
Founded in 2019, the Carvana PPA Tour is where pickleball’s top athletes go head-to-head to determine the best male and female players in the world. The Carvana PPA Tour organizes and conducts tournaments at world-class facilities across the country, establishes player rankings, and showcases the world’s best pickleball week in and week out. Inviting amateur players to also compete and “play where the pros play,” the Carvana PPA Tour offers divisions for every age group and skill level. Characterized by a uniquely festive and fun atmosphere, Carvana PPA Tour events deliver unparalleled experiences for fans on-site, including pro player meet-and-greets, clinics, food, beverages, live entertainment, giveaways, games, shopping, and VIP upgrades. For more information, go to www.ppatour.com, and follow us on social: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn.
SOURCE Austin Cocktails
Açaí Brand OAKBERRY Raises $67 million in Series C Funding with BTG Pactual to Grow U.S. Restaurant Footprint
MIAMI /PRNewswire/ — Today, global açaí brand OAKBERRY announced that it has successfully raised $67 million (325 million Brazilian Reais) through a Series C funding round. The round was raised through funds managed by the Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual (BPAC11) – the largest investment bank in Latin America, including an impact fund portfolio. The new partnership will accelerate OAKBERRY’s global expansion strategy, most notably through rapid growth in the United States market.
Founded in 2016 with the ambition to make better-for-you food more easily accessible, the company currently has approximately 700 stores across more than 40 countries. Now, the Brazilian-founded açaí brand expects to reach over $200 million in revenue and nearly 1,000 stores globally by the end of 2024.
“We designed OAKBERRY to be a global brand with a strong footprint in the United States, and the investment from BTG Pactual brings not only a financial partner, but also a strategic partner with a keen focus on reinforcing our expansion. The strategy to invest in corporate stores in high demand markets, like the United States, represents an excellent opportunity for capital allocation while, at the same time, establishing our brand in these regions,” said Georgios Frangulis, CEO and Co-Founder of OAKBERRY.
Since the arrival of Bruno Cardinali as Global Head of Marketing and Leandro Gasparin as Head of Business North America, the pair – both alumna from dominating restaurant chains Burger King and Popeyes – have guided OAKBERRY through an aggressive expansion in the U.S. and globally, opening more than 150 new stores in 2023 alone. Now, with 35 locations in the U.S., Cardinali and Gasparin, in partnership with OAKBERRY’s leadership team and BTG Pactual, will lead the açaí brand to 200+ U.S. stores, while also tripling its European footprint by 2026.
In addition to its corporate stores in the United States, the chain is exploring co-investments in countries such as Australia and Portugal as additional markets of importance for funding allocations from the capital round.
This latest funding round represents the third time OAKBERRY has strengthened its capital structure. In 2021, the company raised its first private round of $17.3 million with Monte Bravo and its manager, Kilima Asset, to invest in its fully verticalized operations. In 2022, the brand made its capital market debut with the issue of a green Agribusiness Receivables Certificate (CRA) of $10.3 million for the purchase of sustainably managed açaí. OAKBERRY’s sustainable sourcing and operation, with clear ESG metrics monitored by external auditing companies, was one of the key elements that caught the attention of BTG Pactual’s impact fund. The company is dedicated to promoting the sustainable agriculture of its suppliers, contributing significantly to the local economy of riverside residents.
OAKBERRY was founded in Brazil in 2016 by Georgios Frangulis and Renato Haidar following a dream to create a quick-service superfood brand that is delicious, easy and fun to eat, and accessible to everyone. That dream became OAKBERRY’s refreshing and indulgent menu of açaí bowls and smoothies served up in visually appealing layers of açaí and customizable, unlimited toppings at shops worldwide. OAKBERRY’s açaí is sustainably sourced from Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest and is an abundant source of energy, rich in antioxidants, all-natural and organic with no high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors added.
A fast-growing brand with over 700 locations across 40 countries, OAKBERRY’S fully verticalized business model provides flexibility and operational efficiencies for its growing franchise model. To learn more about OAKBERRY, visit https://oakberry.com/en/ and follow along on social media at @oakberryusa; for franchise opportunities visit https://oakberryfranchise.com/.
About BTG Pactual
BTG Pactual (BPAC11) is the largest investment bank in Latin America and operates in the Investment Banking, Corporate Lending, Sales & Trading, Asset Management, Wealth Management and Banking markets. BTG Pactual has established itself as one of the most innovative investment platforms in the country, with a complete transactional bank to support the moment in life and the construction of its clients’ stories. Furthermore, it is a pioneer in the ESG agenda, with financial products that support the transition to a greener and more sustainable economy. The institution is internationally recognized and awarded, and has more than 7,000 employees in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, United States, Portugal and Luxembourg.
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