Fall 2018

Carlos C. Camarena


Fifth-generation tequilero and third-generation master distiller at La Alteña Distillery, Carlos Camarena is one of nine children raised by the legendary Don Felipe Camarena. He has lived most of his life in Arandas, Jalisco where he learned all about agave and Tequila from his father. He holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City.

Carlos began working with his father at the age of twelve, and was employed in every part of the Tequila-making process, from agave farming to hand-bottling. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and skilled living tequileros, and in particular as an innovator in barrel aging, having released the first French oak-aged Tequila (Paradiso) and the first Tequila aged for seven years (El Tesoro de Don Felipe 70th Anniversary).

The brand El Tesoro de Don Felipe was created in 1988 to honor the legacy of Carlos’ father. It was first imported to the United States in 1989, and was one of the primary motors of the US Tequila Boom. Under Carlos’ direction, his family’s company has tripled their annual Tequila production and sales.

In 1990, Carlos co-founded the NGO “Instituto del Tequila,” whose primary goals are to defend the quality and image of tequila internationally, as well as to promote the exclusive consumption of 100% Agave Tequila bottled at the point of production.

Carlos has been named “Distiller of the Year” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2005), and “Tequila Producer of the Year” by the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (CNIT – 2009). He has served as an advisor to both the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) and the CNIT, where he also serves on various committees.

Carlos and his wife, Mrs Monica Verdi, have three children.