Santa Teresa appoints first female master blender
Venezuelan rum brand Santa Teresa has appointed Nancy Duarte as its master blender – the brand’s first female master blender in its 225-year history.
With 31 years of experience at the distillery under her belt, Duarte is the fifth master blender in Santa Teresa’s history.
In her new role Duarte will work alongside Néstor Ortega to lead the brand’s expansion in international markets and strengthen the super-premium rum category around the world.
“Time is the best ally. Rum has taught me to cultivate the gift of patience because that is what you must have to allow the liquid to evolve, to keep developing and obtain those aromas that make the Ron Santa Teresa portfolio what it is”, Duarte said.
Having graduated with a Superior Technical degree in food and beverage, since 1990, Duarte has held several positions at the Santa Teresa distillery on the production side, from quality control to product development.
While preparing for the role of master blender, Duarte learnt the craft from the brand’s third master bender – Jean-Paul Levert.
A key area of responsibility has been to supervise the entire production process, from raw materials obtained at the Hacienda Santa Teresa to the finished product, in order to guarantee the quality and consistency of the blends.
Duarte’s favourite part of the job is the ageing stage, where her blending skills can be put to good use. She singles out Santa Teresa 1796 as her top drop within the range, due to its unique ageing process in a Sherry-like solera system.
“I like Santa Teresa 1796 because it surprises you with its complexity and long-lasting taste on the palate, with its characteristic notes of nuts, chocolate, honey, and leather that can be enjoyed on any occasion”, she said.
Santa Teresa is the leading producer of rum in Venezuela with a tradition of five generations of master blenders during its 225 years of history.
In addition to making rum the company also invests in social initiatives within the Revenga Municipality of Aragua state.