Jose Cortes
Third-generation jimador

If blue agave is the heart of tequila, then the jimador is definitely its soul.

It takes a special person to know precisely when and exactly how to harvest the agave plant, which is why the jimador always has been held in such a high regard within the tequila industry.

Jose Cortes is such that person. It wouldn’t be too far off to say that Jose has the agave spirit coursing through his veins. Jose’s grandfather was a jimador in 1925 and his father soon followed in the family tradition. That kind of lineage, and the fact that Jose has been harvesting agave plants since the age of 15, tells the story of why he is now the head jimador at Casa Herradura – one of the oldest and most respected producers of tequila since 1870.

As the head jimador, Jose still oversees the timing and harvest of Casa Herradura’s fine agave. But his role now calls him to educate consumers and tequila aficionados from around the world about the time-honored art of making tequila, from the use of the coa – the super sharp instrument used to harvest the agave plant – to the actual making of tequila itself.

To this day, Jose still resides in the quiet village of Amatitán, Jalsico, Mexico – home to Casa Herradura. When the nature of his job calls for extraordinary journeys outside of Mexico, Jose serves as an ambassador and spokesman for el Jimador Tequila,
Mexico’s #1 selling tequila.

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October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine