EXCLUSIVE: Moët Hennessy Introduces Volcán X.A, an Ultra-luxe Tequila

·3 min read

Moët Hennessy continues to make moves.

Following news of acquiring Napa and Sonoma-based Joseph Phelps Vineyards, the wine and spirits division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has launched Volcán X.A — a luxury tequila.

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With a portfolio that includes Dom Pérignon, which dates back to 1668, and Ruinart, founded in 1729, and, of course, Moët & Chandon, 1743, and Hennessy, 1765, it was in 2017 that Moët Hennessy introduced its first venture into the world of tequila, unveiling Volcan De Mi Tierra (with a blanco, cristalino and reposado). A partnership with the Gallardo family — with 300-year-old roots in Jalisco, Mexico — Volcán X.A, too, is crafted in the volcanic region, using agave grown in soil fertilized by the eruption of a volcano (fittingly known as Volcano Tequila). While Volcan De Mi Tierra bottles are aged for over a year, the new blend is made with three levels of aging, for 36 months.

“Going into tequila was quite obvious for Moët Hennessy, because in tequila you have everything we love in the world of luxury wine and spirits,” said Julien Morel, president and chief executive officer of Volcán de Mi Tierra. “You have beautiful stories of terroir, a story of a country, a provenance and a savoir faire which is unique in the world. Tequila is an appellation which is protected. And the savoir faire, it’s 300 years of history. And we thought that adding to this tradition, we could really leverage the 250 years of expertise on the Moët Hennessy side of blending and aging. And we believe that we could bring something to the world of tequila, and that was our goal for the last five years.”

Tequila is a “booming” industry, continued Morel, and there’s clear business interest for Moët Hennessy to offer the spirit. Though the company declined to share sales figures, Morel noted sales of Volcán de Mi Tierra tripled in 2021 through retail partnerships amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as shoppers stocked up on liquor and make their own cocktails while home.

The bottle will be available at select clubs and restaurants. - Credit: Courtesy of Moët Hennessy
The bottle will be available at select clubs and restaurants. - Credit: Courtesy of Moët Hennessy

Courtesy of Moët Hennessy

The rollout strategy of Volcán X.A differs in that bottles will only be found at select clubs and restaurants globally, with accounts at familiar hot spots in Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and Florida. Internationally, destinations include St. Tropez, Cannes, Ibiza, Mykonos, Tulum and Bodrum.

“What we created will be scarce by definition,” said Morel. “We have a limited quantity available for the world.”

In an oversaturated market, Moët Hennessy aims to stand apart by using “the depth of tradition of tequila making but also by [adding] some level of innovation,” said Morel. “We created the distillery by looking at every step of the process of tequila making and see how we could improve each of the steps from the terroir, selecting the agave, the cooking, the milling, the fermentation, the distillation, aging and blending.”

After over 50 different trials in the making of Volcán X.A, the result created for a “smooth and aromatic” liquid, one that “broke the rules,” added Morel, by blending the ages: “It’s very elegant with a very nice level of complexity and finish that we loved.”

To mark the launch, Volcán X.A was introduced at a party in Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel on June 24. In the U.S., the company is hosting a bash in Las Vegas at Zouk Nightclub on July 16.

There’s more to come from Moët Hennessy, said Morel: “Today, my biggest concern but also most of my work and biggest job of my team is to accelerate the development of the distillery so we can produce more tequila for the future.”

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