Chinacos were wealthy landowners during the 18th and 19th centuries who, out of necessity, became legendary fighters. The Chinaco warriors tirelessly defended Mexico during both the War of Reform and the French Intervention in the mid-1800s. Their leader was General Manuel González, and the history of Tequilera La Gonzaleña, producer of Chinaco Tequila, begins in 1856 when General González acquired land in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Almost a century later, in 1966, a hurricane devastated the plantations of Tamaulipas, leading residents to plant alternative and more lucrative crops. Blue agave was an ideal option, as it was in growing demand and well-suited to the climate and soil conditions of the region. Guillermo González, the great-grandson of General Manuel González, was Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture at the time. He agreed to sell the region's blue agave plants to a major tequila producer in Jalisco, the only Mexican state that could legally produce tequila at the time. When the agave plants matured eight years later, the tequila producer refused to pay Guillermo González the agreed-upon price. Left with no buyers for the agave, and refusing to sell them for less than promised, González became a warrior in his own right. He battled against the larger distillers and successfully lobbied the Mexican government for an amendment that would allow for tequila production outside of Jalisco. After four years of petitioning, Tamaulipas received Denomination of Origin status and this gave rise to Tequilera La Gonzaleña in 1977, the first tequila distillery in Tamaulipas and home of Chinaco Tequila.
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