Don José Pilar Contreras Marquez
Don Pilar is a personification of the Mexican-American dream. Born in the heart of the Jaliscan highlands, in the rural pueblo of San José de Gracia, he and his eleven siblings worked the family land, continuing a tradition of agave cultivation that extends three generations. With a strong work-ethic honed from his life on the ranch, 18-year-old Pilar came to the United States to work the fields and orchards up and down the state of California as a part of the Bracero guest-worker program. He was later granted permanent residence and opened successful Mexican taquerias that continue to be local favorites. Don Pilar returns to his Jalisco ranches every year to tend his agave. He has partnered up with renowned master tequila distillers—Leopoldo Solis Tinoco and Gabriel Espindola to create the award-winning Tequila Don Pilar, which is now distributed in the U.S..