Ron Santa Teresa is an independent Venezuelan, family-owned hacienda and company dedicated to the production and marketing of fine aged rums. Founded in 1796 by Spain's Count of Tovar Y Blanco, Hacienda Santa Teresa is today owned by the Vollmer family, who has transformed the propierty from a sugercane farm and mill into one of Venezuelan's most modern agro-industrial complexes that currently yields over 28.000 tonels of sugarcane in addition of housing a distillery that ages, blends and refines dark luxury rums.
Gustav Julius Vollmer arrived in Venezuela from Hamburg, Germany in 1826. Like many Europeans at that time, he came to seek fortune in South America. He met and married a young Venezueland lady named Panchita Ribas, niece of the steemed General Jose Felix Ribas, and together they had six children. Their son, Gustavo Julio Vollmer Ribas, purchased Hacienda Santa Teresa in 1885. Adding it to his already vast land holdings, he converted Hacienda Santa Teresa from not-cultivated farmland into lush sugarcane lands.
In 1896, Gustavo Julio Vollmer Ribas purchased still from Germany and France, which he used to develop Sud america's first rum-producing techniques. He stored and sold the rum in wooden barrels to large, trading companies that suppied local cities and towns with goods. During the first decade of 20th century, Gustavo invested a majority of his time and money into registiring his brand, Ron Santa Teresa, while exporting other traditional agricultural products such as coffee and cocoa from his various other farms.
In the late 1940's, Gustavo and Alberto, third generation Vollmers, carried on the traditions of Santa Teresa and developed the complex into what it is today. With hard work and incorporating the highest international standards, Gustavo and Alverto, with support of his father, invested in cutting-edge equipament and market know-how. In 1978, the most technified and modern four-column, continuous molasses distillery was built in the Hacienda. During the same period , top-of-the-line bottilng facilities were also installed.
While researching new international alliances for representation and innovative production techniques, Ron Santa Teresa exported their brand into global markets. Hacienda Santa Teresa also produced and sold Bacardi and Martell as well as various Allied Domecq and United Distillers & Vitners brands.
Since 1983, Gustavo's branch has been responsible for sugar cane opperations, leaving the spirits to Alberto. After 50 years of running Ron Santa Teresa, Alberto introduced his two sons Alberto (Cristobal) and Henrique, to the family business, who both took on more active roles in company's development and expansion. In 1998, Alberto C. Vollmer, Jr was named CEO of Ron Santa Teresa. Her goals were focused on a company-wide restructuring program due to tough economic conditions in the country and overall strengthening of the brand.
Henrique Vollmer, having been deeply involved in the national commercial facets of the company, took over the Export Division in Febreary 2002 and has re-launched Ron Santa Teresa in markets such as Spain, Italy, Japan and Chile, as well as a new markets including America, Great Britain, Germany and Mexico.
SANTA TERESA 1796
Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera was launched in 1996 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Hacienda Santa Teresa. The bottle is packed inside a blue cardboard tube decorated with a red ribbon and a red plastic seal that reads 1796. The bottle itself is tall and elegant sealed with red wax going all the way from over the cork down to the neck. Around the neck is a booklet, which, on this particular bottle, is written entirely in Spanish as are the old looking labels on the bottle which have the same descriptions as the booklet.
As one might guess from the name and the descriptions, Santa Teresa uses an aging process called the solera method.
Santa Teresa uses four levels of Limousin oak barrels in their solera process. The top three levels of barrels are called the Criadera and the lowest level is called the Solera, which contains the oldest rum blend. When the rum in the Solera level is ready for bottling about half of the rum is transferred into large American oak vats where it is batched to be bottled as Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera. About half of the rum blend from the first Criadera is then transferred into the Solera casks and the first Criadera is refilled with the rum from the second Criadera which in turn is refilled with the rum from the third and the last Criadera where the youngest of the rum blend is. This type of aging ensures that the quality of the rum remains consistent