by Kristen Benoit - May 21, 2015
Let’s get to know Selección ArteNOM Tequila. Jacob Lustig, who launched ArteNom in 2010, knows his stuff when it comes to the Tequila business. Though he was born in California, he spent much of his childhood traveling with his mother to Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. Along with way, he learned to speak perfect Español. He studied the history of the Mexican liquor business in college at UC Santa Cruz, and then returned to Oaxaca in the early 1990’s to complete an intensive study of the various production methods of Mezcal. After finding and renovating a centuries-old Mezcal distillery in the village of Santa Catarina Minas, he started producing his own Mezcal, called Don Amado, in 1995.
Around this time, Southern Wine and Spirits, the largest liquor distributor in the United States, hired him to be their in-house expert on agave spirits. This was his opportunity to take what he had learned in Oaxaca and fully immerse himself in Jalisco’s Tequila industry to the north. For eleven years, he worked closely with over forty of the finest distilleries and developed his passion for regional, unique and nuanced tequilas.
Over the years Jacob discovered that his favorite Blanco Tequila came from a different estate and distillery than his favorite Reposado Tequila. And the same was true for his favorite Añejo. He wanted to share these unique expressions with the rest of the world, but there was a big problem. By law, no one in Mexico is allowed to bottle Tequilas from different distilleries under a single brand name. After embarking on a long, multi-year struggle with the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), he was granted an exception to this provision in 2010. His nearly two decades of work in Mexico’s Agave Spirits industry earned him this honor.
Now Jacob works closely with his very favorite boutique Distillers, all from different areas of the Highland Region, to consider every aspect of the Tequila-making process, from cultivation to aging. ArteNom’s estate-bottled tequilas are some of the best we have tasted. A true celebration of craftsmanship, and the real deal. Please enjoy them the next time you visit Bone Garden!