Don Margarito Contreras, grandfather of Don Pilar, purchases Rancho Las Hormigas, and starts cultivating agave. Also pictured is Don Pilar Contreras Galvan, father of Don Pilar.
JOSÉ PILAR CONTRERAS MARQUEZ
Born in San José de Gracia, a small pueblo in the heart of the Jalsican Highlands. One of thirteen children, young Pilar studied until the sixth grade, and then joined his family on the ranch tending to agave and livestock.
Bracero Migrant Worker
Don PIlar arrives in the US as a sponsored guest worker, spending stints up-and-down the green fields of California. Here in this photo, he stands on a ladder up in an apple tree in Sebastopol, California, looking happy, fresh-faced and full of optimism.
The Burrito Business
In 1986, Don Pilar and two compadres open their first Tres Amigos taqueria. Twenty-five years and counting, their restaurants continue to thrive and satisfy hearty appetites.
Don Pilar worked hard in the U.S., but frequently returned to his homeland to continue the family tradition of agave farming.
"Thou shall not kill"
One summer, a film production company arrived in Don Pilar's hometown looking for a ranch to use in a scene for their film "No Mataras" (Thou Shall Not Kill). The Don promptly offered up his ranch in exchange for a part in the movie. Starring alongside Mexican film star, Mario Almada, Don Pilar shows up in Act 2, where he gets gunned down by a vindictive drug lord. Click and see the clip.
la trasquila opens
Don Pilar and a group of partners open La Trasquila, a co-op distillery (NOM 1443), located in San Ignacio Cerro Gordo, Jalisco.
DON PILAR AÑEJO, LOT 1 RELEASED
Interestingly, Don Pilar's first released expression was not a Blanco, but rather an Añejo. Why wait an extra year-and-a-half to release his first tequila? Because Don Pilar especially likes aged-spirits, and he doesn't mind the wait.
DON PILAR BLANCO, LOT 1 RELEASED
Three years after the añejo, and after repeated requests from aficionados, Don Pilar finally releases the Blanco, the fragrant essence of his agave.
ANOTHER MOVIE— "UNIDAS POR EL RENCOR"
Don Pilar, bitten by the acting bug, once again appears in a Mexican Western, this time as a cigar-smoking gambler, alongisde desperados, ladies and bottle of his Añejo. Now, that's product placement.
DON PILAR EXTRA-AÑEJO, LOT 1 RELEASED
Aged for 40 months, a limited-edition bottling of Don Pilar's first XA is released. He spends an entire week at the distillery signing 10,000 bottles.
Don Pilar Reposado, Lot 1 Released
Over 8 years after Don Pilar's first release, the 6-month aged Reposado becomes available in the US.