Michael McCarthy | March 1, 2021 | Food & Drink
Nick Jonas and John Varvatos team up to produce Villa One Tequila.
John Varvatos and Nick Jonas celebrate their latest collaboration, Villa One Tequila.
If a good life is a series of well-honed rituals, then a good drinking life follows suit—with one proviso: The sips better be great. That’s the working storyline for entertainer Nick Jonas and menswear designer John Varvatos, who’ve previously teamed up for launches of two fragrances and a clothing line. Their latest venture, Villa One Tequila, is the exceptional spirit that bonds them.
“Two years before we launched the brand, John and I made a trip to Cabo. As we sipped tequila, I made a toast to the good life and [figuring out] another venture,” says Jonas. “For Villa One, we brought the same passion and attention to detail that we did to our other projects. And we wanted the culture and brand identity to be reflective of who we are.” The unlikely duo partnered with Stoli Group for Villa One, which offers three varieties of tequila: silver, añejo and reposado. Every drop is handcrafted in a small distillery in Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Jalisco, Mexico.
The partners were intent on ensuring their family and friends take part in multiple tastings to refine the tastes for each of the tequilas.
Varvatos, whose fashion success has always leaned on consistency, says he and Jonas learned everything they could about the tequila business and the life cycle of agave plants to produce top-shelf sips. Their secret weapon: the godfather of agave and tequila production in the region, Arturo Fuentes. He’s now Villa One’s master distiller, bringing 30 years of experience making Champagne, fine cognacs and barrel-aged tequilas to the new venture. One of Fuentes’ boldest moves for Villa One was combining agave from both the region’s lowlands and highlands—including fruity and nutty notes—that help give the spirit its smooth finish. Varvatos, ever the student of smart production, says, “We ended up buying the agave plantation, so we control the process from growing to distilling to distribution.”
Jonas and Varvatos even did their homework on the bottle. “Nick and I talked a lot about authenticity and beauty. We first wanted a gorgeous metal top, which stemmed from a bracelet I was wearing at the time,” say Varvatos. “From there, we did countless tastings with bartenders, asking them what they like and which bottles feel great in their hands.” The team also hosted tastings with their respective families. Jonas’ wife, actress Priyanka Chopra, loves the reposado, which is aged six months in American oak barrels and has a rich butterscotch and chocolate character.
Jonas and Varvatos survey their agave plantation—Villa One combines agave from both the region’s lowlands and highlands.
“We wake up thinking about this brand—and go to bed thinking about it,” says Jonas. It’s become more than a passion project; it’s now another way of life forged by two friends. “Plus, my family and friends love it, and that means the world to me.”
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA ONE TEQUILA