Who is Tomas Estes?

by  Phil Bayly on Thu Mar 12, 2009
    Tomas Estes is one of the most influential people in the tequila industry outside of the distillers themselves.  Tomas is one of two Tequila Ambassadors for the Mexican Government worldwide.   Just a few of his accolades include being recognized twice by the Mexican national tequila chamber with the title of ambassador to Europe of tequila and received a Life Time achievement award from “Theme” Magazine for his work with tequila in hospitality industry.   In 2008 Tomas was given the award of outstanding contribution to the bar and restaurant industry in the United Kingdom and was voted the 6th most influential person in the U.K.  Bar Trade by the readers of “Theme” Magazine.   


    Tom receiving his ambassadorship in Mexico (Left to Right)
    Sergio Laguna Legorreta, Francisco Soltero, Tomas Estes, Julio Bermejo

    Tomas has a true love of tequila that shines through all he does.  He is often found as a guest speaker talking to the taste and process of hand crafted tequilas to educational groups and connoisseurs.  He also teaches the wine and spirits educational trust course on tequila and is a writer on staff for "Tequila 100%" a magazine in Mexico that specializes in tequila category information and tasting.
    Tomas prides himself as a bartender/trade person at heart.  He began as a dishwasher and kitchen helper and eventually put himself through school to earn a degree in teaching.  Tomas however, couldn’t stay away from the service industry, he has opened 17 restaurants and/or bars in Holland, England, France, Germany, Italy and Australia (still owing his four flagship properties); he speaks 4 languages and continues to write articles about tequila in Europe and the U.S.; not as an expert or an authority, but as a veteran, having drunk it for 40 years and served it for more than 26 years, serving 4 million margaritas in this period in 6 different lands.
    Tequila Ocho is the only brand Tomas Estes has been personally involved with as a partner.   He spent the last 20 years going on a yearly pilgrimage to Burgundy in France tasting red and white wine "en primeur" (from the barrel before bottling), which developed his wine appreciation as well as his palate.  It is for this reason that Tomas insists on a “Slow Food” process for his brand Tequila Ocho.  The respect for the Artesenal process is why of all the distillers he knows well, Tomas chose the Camerenas Family to create Tequila Ocho with him.  Together they created an agave led product that proves “terroir” from a Single Estate has an effect on agave just as it does on wine.  Tequila Ocho celebrates the different nuances from each vintage and estate – making Tequila Ocho Rare and Collectable.

    Phil Bayly, Jay Travis and Tomas Estes at the bar at La Capilla Bar,
    Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico in 1990.
    Phil Bayly

    Phil Bayly

    Phil Bayly has been involved in the growth of the Tequila Industry in Europe and Australia since 1980.

    Based in Sydney, Australia and owner of Café Pacifico Sydney, he has been recognized with various awards for his work with tequila including the first 'Distinctivo T' in the southern hemisphere in 2006.

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