MIAMI BEACH, Fla – Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes, CEO/CMO, announced the introduction of Mezcal Campante in the United States. A small-batch premium mezcal made from a unique blend of Espadín and Barril agave grown in the nutrient-dense valleys and mountainsides of Oaxaca, México and is Denomination of Origin Protected (“DOP”).
“Our vision for Mezcal Campante is to bring to market a super smooth, easy-to-drink mezcal that is perfect whether it be it on the rocks, straight up, or in a cocktail. Blending the traditions of México and Mezcal making with today’s culture, we have created a drink to celebrate all the small and major moments of life,” says Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer, Sociedad Mezcalera LLC.
A contemporary romance, a yen for discovery, and the love for Mezcal as the perfect accompaniment to any moment led life partners, Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes, and Luca Longobardi, to embark on the quest for the ultimate Mezcal.
“We wanted to find a Mezcal that we could place in the center of the table with friends and know that everyone would enjoy,” says Luca Longobardi.
A joyful meeting in Oaxaca with José Luis Bustamante to sample and savor his mezcal was the seedling that flourished into the velvety smooth Mezcal being exported from Oaxaca to the U.S. today by the partnership. A simply elegant story filled with passion, and the full embrace of, and commitment to, craftsmanship, culture, and community, the hallmarks of Mezcal Campante.
“Copious tasting, many bottles, and much research later we finally encountered Campante, a privately produced Mezcal created for the intimate sharing between friends and family by our now partner, José Luis Bustamante, and being served to guests at his acclaimed hotel, Hotel Azul de Oaxaca,” continues Longobardi.
“Providing for the people of Oaxaca is essential to me and means a great deal to my family. I have a long history with my family in this region and my heart is truly here in this incredible land. This small production process serves the small and closely-knit community of Rio Ejutla, Oaxaca,” says José Luis Bustamante, partner.
“The culture, tradition, and heritage of Mezcal are honored as we refine the distillation process for creating Campante, a smooth Mezcal perfect for sipping, savoring, or blending. We continue to honor and support the arenas of jobs and culture, the cuisine, and the splendid crafts of Oaxaca, which continue to flourish as the brand is exported to the U.S. market,” continues Bustamante.
According to Leigh-Wood Oakes, “we spent a great deal of time perfecting the liquid, finding the right ensemble of agave, while strengthening the branding and packaging to bring the brand fully to fruition. The result, a smoother Mezcal that is harmoniously balanced, full-bodied, and compelling and a brand that is full of meaning and creativity.”
Tasting Notes and More:
- On first impression, licorice from the caramelization of the slow cooking agave and smoked nuances
- An intense tone arises from the slow underground cooking of the piñas in conical stone ovens.
- The cooked agave gives off aromas of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel
- Light herbal tones include rosemary, eucalyptus, mint which provide a freshness
- Floral vapors of lavender and orange blossoms can be distinguished.
- Butter from the slow fermentation in Wood Sabino vats
- As the liquid develops, the imprint on the palate is sweet and silky, the fruity aromas decant to citrus, leaving delicate smoky tones in the mouth.
- “It is perfectly balanced,” says the author of the tasting notes and renowned Mezcal & Tequila expert, Ana Maria Romero Mena.
- A luminous, silver elixir with smooth, deep complexities, smoky tones met with floral sparkles, sweet aromas, and hints of citrus.
- To discover the beauty of Mezcal Campante, let it breathe in the glass for 10 minutes before savoring.
- Mezcal Campante is Vegan, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO, grown, distilled, and bottled in Oaxaca, México.
Master Mezcalero Raúl Rodríguez Reyes is steeped in his familial traditions coupled with the centuries-old art form of making Mezcal. Each moment of the process is carefully considered from harvesting to the plans for the upcycling of the agave fibers into thread and fabric.
“We believe that Mezcal Campante cannot be mass-produced because the magic is in every drop and every moment. If you skip steps or try to hurry the process you lose the magic,” says Bustamante.
In a tradition nearly as old as the country of México, Espadín and Barril, two of 14 varieties in the area, (both 100% Maguey agave) are harvested at peak perfection and the hearts, known as piñas, are placed in an underground oven built from river rocks. This is then covered with Oaxaca’s fertile soil and left to burn undisturbed for days until caramelization occurs and thus the sweet aroma and rich flavor signatures of Mezcal Campante are born.
As in the days of yore, Mezcal Campante’s cooked piñas are ground by a tahona (a large stone wheel) pulled by two oxen. The mash is then transferred to large wooden vats made of Sabino (aka Mexican Cypress) and left to ferment until Master Mezcalero Reyes determines that it is the exact moment to begin the double distillation process. The copper stills and the process result in the silvery smooth mezcal that is 40% ABV.
Mezcal Campante as a brand believes in savoring the moment and notes that the time is now for the Mezcal category. The essence of the word, “Campante,” is found in all areas of the brand and the corporation. Translated from Spanish to a concept rather than a single word, it celebrates the companionable ease between people. It honors the sacred moments of sharing meals and drinks and friendship so vital in the Mexican culture and so heralded today in the United States as a way of being. The corporate structure is committed to a partnership, one of equality and friendship (and don’t forget the romance) in lieu of hierarchy.
The parent company, Sociedad Mezcalera LLC, was founded in late 2019 by the partners. In 2021, Mezcal Campante was their first product brought to the U.S. market from Oaxaca and has exceeded sales expectations inside the first six weeks with more than 100 cases sold.
In April 2021, Mezcal Campante was awarded the prestigious Silver Medal, with 92 points, at the (virtual) New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC). This was the 12th annual NYISC with more than 1,400 spirits entering from 37 countries (including 34 states in the U.S.).
Mezcal Campante’s global sales and marketing operations are headquartered in Miami Beach. The agave is grown, the liquid distilled and the Mezcal bottled and packaged in Oaxaca, and it is imported and distributed by MHW, Ltd. and Greystone Partners Inc. Currently available in 750ml bottles, suggested retail price is $64.99, Mezcal Campante may be found in-store at select retailers or online via the company’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce powered by FullCircle. For additional information please visit the Mezcal Campante website.
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