Jose Valdez was working as an Industrial Engineer when he first met Gary Shansby. Gary was a well-known brand-builder and knew that Jose was the man to oversee his newest endeavor – Partida Tequila. Jose, being a proud Mexican, wanted to combine old traditions with the latest innovations. Growing up in Guadalajara which is the “silicon valley” of Mexico, it was natural for Jose to end up working in technology in some way, but he jumped on the chance to head up a brand where he could express some creativity, embrace traditional values and at the same time use his engineering mind to integrate new technology into the process.
It was a real pleasure to sit and chat with this very charming man and learn a little more about him as a person and what inspires him.
As a young boy, Jose wanted to be a soldier. He was also interested in sports and is an avid runner to this day. His dream car would is a Mercedes/BMW/Audi but the Ford pickup truck he currently drives is much more practical.
Because tequila and mezcal bottles are always so varied and interesting, I asked him what the inspiration was for the Partida bottle. I personally am a big fan of the bottle shape. It is visually appealing to me and feels nice in my hands – and his answer made perfect sense. They did their market research and focus groups and found the shape that was most appealing to women. He explained to me that many years ago in Mexico, tequila and mezcal were considered more of a man’s drink and to see a woman sipping tequila was rare. And the women that did had a certain reputation. In more recent years things have changed and it has become fashionable for women and young people to appreciate and enjoy tequila and Partida wanted to cater to this new generation of drinkers.
I asked Jose what his last meal would be and he had a difficult time choosing but finally settled on fresh tuna and a nice steak, with his wife Anna by his side. If Partida was not available, I am sure he would be enjoying a glass of his favorite mezcal from Oaxaca.
Jose did not grow up in the tequila business as many master distillers did, but his understanding of technology, national pride and attention to detail are a big reason why this brand is able to produce such a fine quality tequila.