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Phillip Soto Mares—Director Tequila El Duende de Don FelipePhillip Soto Mares

What inspires a successful businessman to give up the comfortable, the familiar and venture into an enterprise fraught with difficulties and obstacles? Phillip Soto Mares, consultant, designer, owner of a small profitable business, followed a dream instilled in him as a teenager by his Tio Roberto and took on the difficult enterprise of developing new Tequila.

Felipe, as he is known to his friends, was born in the Fresno, California farming community of Simons Camp. Felipe credits his Tio Roberto with first introducing him to Mexico's native drink Tequila at 18.

His uncle brought up a garafon (plastic jug) of 100% agave tequila made in a small homemade still in Atequiza, Jalisco. Tio Roberto offered Felipe a small glass of his spirit. In what Felipe believed to be true tequila etiquette, he shot it down. "No no Felipe that is not how it is done," Tio Roberto gently admonished him. "Take a sip and let it sit on your tongue. Some of the tequila evaporates on your palette. And then you swallow. This is how you get the true flavors and aromas of tequila. It's like sipping a fine wine, not a cerveza you drink on a hot day." From that moment a believer was born.

For years after Phillip asked Tio Roberto to teach him the art of making tequila. In the meantime he attended the local community college and consulted in a variety of industries, designing and developing several large manufacturing facilities. Finally a call from his Tio brought Phillip closer to his dream of producing his own unique brand of tequila. For the past eight years Phillip has been immersed in the art that is tequila. As a continuation of his education, he was invited to attend the prestigious La Academia Mexicana del Tequila A.C... The training involved an intensive course in various aspects of tequila, including blind taste tests of 100% de agave tequilas. Phillip completed his training and is currently the only American recognized by La Academia Mexicana del Tequila, A.C. as a Catador Oficial de La Academia Mexicana del Tequila, A.C. Experto en Tequila.

Phillip currently resides in the countryside of San Marcos, California where he cultivates his own Blue Agave Tequilana Weber Azul and keeps his two Andalusian horses.

He can be reached at Office: 760-481-7586.
Email: felipe@elduendetequila.com.

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