The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink

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Fortune and Food & Wine teamed up for the second year to bring you the dynamos bringing fresh ideas to everything from clean water and home products to goat cheese and wine—in ways that benefit the broader world. —By Beth Kowitt, Christine Quinlan, Lucy Madison, and Shadia Alame
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Bertha González Nieves

Co-Founder and CEO, Casa Dragones
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Photo: Melanie Dunea

González Nieves was a top executive at Grupo Jose Cuervo International, the largest tequila company in the world, when in 2007 she decided to go small. After meeting media mogul Bob Pittman at a party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the two decided to start a tequila company together. González Nieves took nearly two years to explore agaves from different regions, along with various methods of extraction and cooking, before doing a first run of 1,000 nine-liter cases of limited-edition sipping tequila Casa Dragones Joven in 2009. Last year Casa Dragones rolled out its first Blanco tequila, giving the brand a foothold in the cocktail game. Between both lauded lines, the company is approaching 10,000 nine-liter cases for 2016. Certified as the first female Maestra Tequilera, González Nieves is trying to merge the traditional with the modern, using the industry’s most cutting-edge equipment and focusing on sustainability.

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