El Negocio is a pure, 100% additive-free tequila label founded by Adam Craun and Nicholas Lutz. Craun is a Napa Valley vintner and co-founder of cult 100-point winery, Memento Mori, while Lutz is a prolific entrepreneur. El Negocio’s proprietary recipe was developed with the guidance of third-generation tequilero and Master Distiller Chava Rosales and produced at the Rosales family’s Fabrica de Tequila El Cascahuín – one of the few producers in Jalisco that makes additive-free tequila using traditional techniques.

The Land

The Zona Valles, or Lowlands, were chosen to use for El Negocio because of their superior water supply, mineral rich volcanic soil, and the ability to produce a special type of Blue Agave, called the Tequilana Weber, known to produce an earthier flavor that honors the traditional taste of tequila as it was originally made.

The People

Our Master Distiller Salvador, Rosales Trejo, better known as Chava, is the grandson of the tequilero who founded Fabrica de Tequila El Cascahuin. This deep family connection to the heritage around crafting exceptional tequila filled our founders with confidence to know this was where El Negocio had to be made to live up their vision.


Mass production of tequila has distorted a rich and vibrant spirit with deep roots. Our commitment to showcase the beauty of blue agave shows up in every aspect of how we make tequila. We insist on an additive-free approach that allows each vintage we release to be a celebration of the time, terroir, and tradition that makes a tequila worthy of the moments you're celebrating.



  • Adam Craun, co-founder of El Negocio, grew up just outside of Washington D.C. A twin and one of seven children, Adam always felt drawn to the arts. His father was an economist, and his grandfather a renowned oncologist at the National Institute of Health. Despite being flanked by politics and science, Adam was determined to pursue a more creative path.


    Adam attended Boston University’s School of Fine Arts on a full-ride Division I swim scholarship. After he graduated, he moved to Southern California to dabble in technology while traveling to Napa Valley in his free time. In 2009, Adam – along with two close college friends – turned their shared love of wine into their own Napa Valley label, Memento Mori.


    Adam quit his day job and threw himself wholly into building the cult brand of Memento Mori. As a classically trained artist, Adam was able to quickly come up with the label’s now iconic gold logo, front and center on every bottle. With Winemaker Sam Kaplan hard at work in the vineyards and cellar, Adam set out to get Memento Mori (and Sam) on the radar of every collector and onto the lists of the world’s top restaurants and wine retailers. Today, Memento Mori is a highly sought, 100-point label with a stunning 17-acre estate home in Calistoga, while Sam is considered one of Napa Valley’s brightest stars.

  • With the experience accrued as a successful vintner, Adam soon set his sights on his other favorite beverage – tequila. Uniquely suited to understand the complexities of terroir, Adam realized there were no tequilas on the market that celebrated the type of vintage variation celebrated by wine collectors. He found a like-minded tequila aficionado in Memento Mori’s very first client, entrepreneur Nicholas Lutz. On an early 2020 ski trip to Lake Tahoe’s North Star Mountain, with the dulcet tones of Tiësto's “The Business” proving an inspirational soundtrack, the newly minted partners conceived of El Negocio.

    Just as Adam wished to shine the spotlight on Memento Mori’s winemaker, he is equally excited to promote the talents of El Negocio’s third-generation Master Distiller, Chava Rosales. Chava’s dedication to crafting pure, 100% additive-free tequila is the reason Adam and Nicholas chose to partner with him – a testament to the unusually vinous ethos they bring to this tequila label.


    Adam is a dedicated philanthropist and spends much of his time helping to raise money and awareness for deserving causes. Adam has helped to raise millions of dollars for organizations like Next Step (rehabilitation for individuals living with paralysis), The Frankie Lemmon School (education for children with special needs), and Emeril Lagasse Foundation (youth culinary, nutrition and arts education). The crossroads of art, wine, tequila, and philanthropy is where Adam feels most fulfilled and inspired, which is how the first preview bottle of El Negocio sold for a staggering $10,000 at a 2023 Napa Valley auction.



  • Nicholas Lutz, co-founder of El Negocio, grew up between Washington state and southern California. Never one to follow the traditional path, he was entrepreneurial from an early age, always drawn by the challenge and independence of building his own businesses. At 17 years old, Nicholas founded his first company, employing nearly all the friends he made throughout high school and while completing his degree at San Diego State University. Nicholas has since gone on to found multiple successful businesses in a wide array of industries, including  healthcare, construction, property management, bespoke custom automotive and now ultra-premium spirits. Each company was built with an unwavering dedication to quality and attention to detail. It is this same focus that drove Nicholas to partner with Adam Craun and Chava Rosales, the third generation Master Distiller behind El Negocio.

    Nicholas’s love of Napa Valley wine is central to El Negocio’s origin story. Nicholas, an avid wine collector, was also Memento Mori’s first client, long before the wine earned its first 100-point score. Nicholas and Adam have been long time friends and spent years preparing their plan for a world class tequila aged in the finest Napa Valley Cabernet barrels. This concept for El Negocio was finalized in early 2020, during a memorable ski trip atop Lake Tahoe’s North Star Mountain. It was amid the beats of Tiesto's "The Business" where they articulated their vision for a limited-production spirit that married these two distinct worlds of traditional tequila and wine—an “unholy alliance."

  • For Nicholas, El Negocio Tequila transcends mere business; it embodies the artistry, tradition, and craftsmanship inherent in tequila-making. With an unwavering dedication to quality and a refusal to cut corners, Nicholas is committed to making a truly exceptional spirit, customizing every aspect of the product from the fermentation recipe to the logo-inlaid glass bottle. It was also important to Nicholas that El Negocio give back with every bottle, which is why he and Adam partnered with Charity: Water, a non-profit that provides clean water to those most in need with every bottle of El Negocio Tequila sold.

    Outside of El Negocio Tequila, Nicholas leads a dynamic and multifaceted life, at the center of which are his wife of nearly two decades and his two teenage children. He continues to guide his companies as CEO. Nicholas’s passion for cars is evident not just in his collection but also in his latest venture; he recently founded a bespoke custom car restoration company (MPR 4x4), which is currently developing a limited number of hand built individually numbered vintage broncos, scouts and defenders. The first release from this new venture will be a spectacular custom 1968 Bronco, set to be released early 2024. Apart from his entrepreneurial pursuits, Nick is a dedicated philanthropist through both personal and professional channels, and is currently a Well Member for Charity: Water, helping to support the staff of the organization and facilitating the continuation of its 100% donation model.


FOUNDED in 1904

  • El Negocio’s portfolio of tequilas are distilled at Cascahuin Distillery. Located in the iconic tequila region of El Arenal, Jalisco, Mexico, Cascahuin stands as a testament to tradition and craftsmanship, as well as a commitment to 100% additive-free tequila. Founded in 1904 by the visionary Salvador Rosales Briseño, the distillery is now under the expert hands of his grandson, Salvador Rosales Torres, better known as “Chava.”

    Nestled in the heart of Jalisco’s revered tequila region, the distillery is surrounded by some of the world’s most fertile agave fields. In contrast to many tequila producers who opt to harvest agave from the Jalisco highlands, Chava insists that Cascahuin sources agave exclusively from the lowlands, which tend to result in tequilas with flavor profiles that are spicy, savory, and herbaceous, rather than fruity and floral.

  • Cascahuin is celebrated internationally for its unwavering commitment to traditional tequila production techniques. Employing age-old methods, the agave piñas are meticulously cooked in brick ovens and undergo fermentation in wooden vats. Cascahuin primarily uses tahonas, the wheel-shaped, volcanic stones that often weigh upwards of 3,000 pounds, to crush the roasted agave, separating the pulp from the sweet juice. The process is tedious, but the sacrifice in efficiency is worth the extra effort; the tahona process yields nuanced aromatics that would be not be achieved through the industrial methods more commonly used by tequila producers. The essence of the agave is then captured through distillation in copper stills, ensuring no additives or artificial flavors obscure the tequilas’ purity. While there are a range of tequilas produced at Cascahuin, each with its distinct profile, the distillery consistently promises aromatic complexity and balanced structure across the distinct labels. 


Salvador "Chava" Rosales Torres, the heart and soul of Cascahuin, represents the fourth generation of this tequila-making legacy. Having honed his craft from a young age, Chava's love of tequila resonates in every bottle. His dedication to sustainable practices and high-quality production has positioned him as an industry pioneer. When the El Negocio founders sought a partner to help distill their ideal additive-free tequila, there was no question that Chava was their first choice; the team quickly coalesced around a shared vision of a terroir-driven portfolio of tequilas that would prioritize artisanry, sustainability, and respect for tradition above all else.

A proud member of the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), Chava holds the esteemed title of a certified Maestro Tequilero (master tequila distiller). His accolades include the prestigious "Best Reposado Tequila" at the World Tequila Awards in 2017.