AN ARTISTIC FUSION OF FRENCH SENSIBILITY WITH MEXICAN CUTURE
To say that Sophie Decobecq is an anomaly amongst her peers is like saying the French have a proficiency for cooking yummy food. Her passion for tequila is unsurpassed in a world of agave based spirits led predominantly by men.
She began her career in spirits after graduating in 1999 from a prestigious university in her native France with a degrees in biochemistry and engineering. After graduation, she moved to Mexico where she spent 7 months working in the research center at Polytechnics Institute of Mexico City where she studied the art and science of fermentation. During this period she made visits to Guadalajara and Tequila in the Mexican countryside. She became enamored with the history, the sensory experiences and all minute details of the Tequila distilleries she visited.
In 2000 after graduating from the program, Sophie left Mexico. But from the moment she got on the plane she had "the wish to come back, as once you get bitten by Mexico, you need to come back there one day..." She went to South Africa where spent one year learning the art and craft of agave spirit production. Shortly after her arrival she starting getting calls from distilleries, who wanted her expertise on the fermentation process to resolve various production problems. It was during these 2-3 month consulting engagements that Sophie fell in love with the process, and decided to stay there for a complete year spending weeks and week-ends improving the process as master distiller.
One day she received a call from Julio Bermejo of Tommy's Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, who told her of his passion for agave spirits. With this passion in common, the new found friends committed to keep in touch with each other. Soon thereafter Julio knocked on the door of the distillery where Sophie was consulting, at at that point become a great friends.
In early 2001 Decobecq took her first steps in the US with a visit to San Francicso and Tommy's Mexican. There she discovered the world of highly skilled bartenders who are internationally recognized for their craftsmanship with cocktails. This passion she found with the people behind the bar had a huge impact on her. This was completely different than the lonely tastings she was used to do in distillery laboratories, always thinking and rethinking if blends were going on the right direction. In her many conversations with these cocktail artist she heard them describe their feeling when sipping tequilas and agave spirits, and then creating succulent cocktails with it, and this changed her forever. Sophie now knew where her passion was destined.
Sophie then returned to France and started to work in the brandy industry, but always with one eye still on the agave spirit production in South Africa and Mexican tequila production.
Then in 2003, after two years of spending an unreasonable amount of time on planes flying between the 3 countries, Sophie's passion and instincts lead her to make a life changing decision: to focus her energy on Tequila. So she then started Imex International, with the goal of creating some of the finest Tequila's in the world.
Now, six years later in 2009, Imex is 4 passionate people dedicated to the craft of creating amazing Tequilas and and spreading the gospel of the spirit globally. In 2009 their newest brand "Calle 23" won several medals at 2009 the San Francisco world spirits competition. Their plan is bring Calle 23 to a global market, including US distribution in June 2009.
But ask Sophie what she likes most of tequila world, and she quickly talks about the feeling of working in a big family: "..there is space for everyone.... each tequila has its own process, its own history and for this reason appeals to a special consumer. There is no better tequila, just a tequila which best fits your taste...".
We couldn't have said it better ourselves, in French, Spanish or English.
We encourage you to try Calle 23 as soon as you can, and to join Sophie here in our community.