Jamestown Native’s Imported Tequila Set For In-Store Tastings

Those looking for an education in premium tequila will have three opportunities this holiday weekend to learn and taste Trianon Tequila.

Trianon Tequila came to the United States market by way of GDL Imports, an importing company co-founded by Jamestown-native Mackenzie Shults and Eduardo Ismael Gomez, her business partner, and now fiancee. Shults, daughter of local businessman and entrepreneur, Tim Shults, brings her background in operations and organizational behavior, while Gomez brings more than a decade of experience in the restaurant, wine and spirits industry. Teaming up with Shults’ father and former spirits executives, they acquired the Trianon Tequila trademark for the United States in 2012 and have since secured distribution for the new brand in Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Florida and New York.

On Thursday, Trianon Tequila will be featured at an in-store tasting at Evans Wines & Liquors, 1013 Fairmount Ave., from 3-5 p.m. On Saturday, the hand-crafted small-batch tequila will be available for an in-store tasting from 2-4 p.m. at Bag & String Wine Merchants, 119 Chautauqua Ave., Lakewood. Also on Saturday, a Trianon rub and tasting event will be held at The Italian Fisherman, 61 Lakeside Drive, Bemus Point, from 6-8 p.m.

Shults said the reception locally from spirit store and restaurant owners has been tremendous for the 100 percent blue weber agave tequila.

“We’ve had a lot of support, especially for an area of the country that is not highly developed as far as tequila,” she said. “We’ve had really great support here. Evans picked it up right away, and Bag & String most recently picked it up.”

Shults said at the tastings, people will have the chance to be educated about Trianon Tequila, which is produced by a family of third-generation master distillers from Amatitan in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The brand preserves traditional tequila production techniques, delivering the true taste of tequila, while maintaining a socially responsible supply chain by working with local families and artisans throughout Jalisco.

The 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition made Trianon Tequila the most highly awarded tequila at their annual competition. Double Gold medals for taste were awarded to Trianon Blanco and Reposado, while the Anejo earned a Gold Medal. The Triple Bottle, a unique hand-crafted bottle that features each expression in their own stackable container, earned its second Best-in-Class for package design.

“It is an opportunity to learn about tequila, about a premium spirit,” she said. “We will educate people about spirits and allow them to sample it, and at the Italian Fisherman we will have cocktails made with Trianon for purchase.”

Shults said Trianon Tequila is the only registered spirit that GDL Imports carries, with three other products under review. GDL Imports was started in 2011, and has evolved into a larger company than Shults first thought was possible.

“We never imagined we would be acquiring a trademark for the tequila,” she said. “Our goal is to find spirits, wines or beers that have something different. Be a brand incubator. Trianon sits the standard pretty high for the other products we would bring in.”

Shults said Gomez found Trianon Tequila while researching spirits.

“He got in touch with them, went to Mexico, they met and they clicked, and things started rolling from there,” she said.

Gomez said most people in the United States associate tequila with a negative drinking experience, which is unfortunate.

“The truth is that good, premium tequilas are in the same class of spirits as your favorite bourbon or cognac. Trianon Tequila is meant to be sipped and enjoyed,” he said.

For more information, contact Shults, GDL Imports operations and development manager, at 450-2589 or mackenzie@dglimports.com.