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Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is a Venezuelan brand that has become well known for creating sublime rum and for its dedication to community outreach programs like Project Alcatraz (you can find out more about here). Over the last couple of hundred years, Santa Teresa has established itself as something of a national treasure and a core part of the drinking culture in Venezuela. The process of making Santa Teresa rum begins by extracting molasses from Venezuelan sugarcane, to which yeast is added to induce continuous fermentation which takes between 12 and 16 hours. The remaining ‘must’, which has an alcohol content of around 8% ABV, is then distilled, either using continuous column distillation or pot still distillation. Every rum style Santa Teresa makes is aged separately in former American whiskey barrels. There are approximately 100,000 of these ageing at any given time. In Venezuela, alcohol must be rested in wood for at least two years – the longest rum ageing requirement in the world. The distillery, which started life as a sugar cane plantation when it was founded back in 1796, is located in El Consejo within the fertile valley of Aragua. History buffs will have noticed at this point that Hacienda Santa Teresa actually predates the country’s fight for independence (which occurred in 1811). This essentially means that Santa Teresa as an estate is older than Venezuela as a country. The distillery itself was founded in 1826 by the husband and wife team of Gustav Julius Vollmer, an immigrant from Hamburg, and Panchita Ribas y Palacios who was the sole survivor of a family who were murdered in the Venezuelan battle for independence from Spain. They reinstated the sugarcane crop after its absence during the war and began producing aguardiente for locals. This action was to be the foundation of a family business that to date has lasted five generations. The Vollmer family still own and run the Santa Teresa Hacienda to this day. For much of its history, Santa Teresa has been beloved to Venezuelans, but the rum was rarely seen elsewhere. It took nearly sixty years before it was produced first at a commercial level, which sometime around 1885. When the brand was officially registered in 1909 it became the very first Venezuelan rum trademark and the country’s third trademark overall. International recognition was aided by a distribution deal with Bacardi Limited, which was penned in December 2016, making it the global importer for the brand outside of Venezuela.

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