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News Briefs for February 6, 2015

February 6, 2015

•Combs Wine & Spirits, the spirits company founded by entertainment mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2013, has appointed Dia Simms to the role of president. In her new role, Simms will oversee the company’s DeLeón Tequila brand—co-owned with Diageo—as well as future innovation efforts (Cîroc vodka is held under a separate global partnership between Diageo and Combs Enterprises). Simms, who most recently served as executive vice president for Combs Wine & Spirits, has worked with Combs since 2005, holding a variety of executive roles, including general manager for Combs’ advertising and marketing firm The Blue Flame Agency. She will report directly to Combs and Brian Offutt, COO of Combs Wine & Spirits parent company Combs Enterprises.

•Beverage alcohol delivery provider Drizly has expanded into Baltimore, Maryland, adding to the growing list of cities where the service is available. Drizly can now be accessed through its free mobile app or website in Baltimore’s Downtown, Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Canton, Highlandtown, Federal Hill, Locust Point, Charles Village, Guilford, Johns Hopkins, Hampden, Roland Park, Mount Washington, Towson, Parkville and Carney areas, with further coverage in the market anticipated at a later date. Baltimore joins a Drizly footprint that already includes Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington D.C., Austin, Seattle, Indianapolis and St. Louis.

•St. Louis-based spirits marketer Luxco has unveiled a full refresh of its Rebel Yell Bourbon brand. Rebel Yell’s new look includes a redesigned bottle, featuring a heavier base, rounder shoulders and a cork closure, as well as an updated label. The company also plans to release new Rebel Yell line extensions later this year.

•Sonoma-based 35 Maple Street Spirits is introducing two new gin offerings, Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin and Uncle Val’s Restorative Gin. The peppered entry is infused with juniper, red bell pepper, black pepper and pimento, while the Restorative gin is infused with coriander, juniper, cucumber and rose petals. The newcomers join the original Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin ($35)—which debuted in 2012. 35 Maple, a venture of the Sonoma-based wine negoçiant firm The Other Guys, also counts the Masterson’s whisky, Kirk And Sweeney rum and Bib & Tucker Bourbon brands in its portfolio.

•Folio Fine Wine Partners has added the wines of Argentina’s Dominio del Plata to its portfolio. Based in Mendoza, Dominio del Plata produces the Crios, Susana Balbo Signature, BenMarco and Nosotros labels. The winery currently exports to more than 30 countries, and the U.S. is among its largest markets. Dominio del Plata’s wines were formerly marketed in the U.S. by Vine Connections. The addition of the Dominio del Plata range marks the Napa-based Folio’s entry into the Argentine category.

•Eugene, Oregon-based King Estate Winery has named Mark Feinberg chief marketing officer. Feinberg joins King Estate from Sonoma, California’s Don Sebastiani & Sons, where he most recently served as vice president of marketing. Established in 1991, King Estate’s portfolio includes its core King Estate Domaine, Signature and Vineyard Designate wines, all of which specialize primarily in Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The family-owned winery also produces additional varietals under its North by Northwest and Acrobat brands.

•Napa Valley-based Lede Family Wines has named Remi Cohen as vice president and general manager. Cohen joined the company in 2012 as director of winemaking and vineyards and became vice president of operations last year. She has over 10 years of winemaking experience, with stints at Bouchaine and Merryvale Vineyards, where she oversaw farming, grower relations and direct-to-consumer programs as vice president of operations. The Lede Family Wines portfolio includes Cliff Lede Vineyards, Poetry and FEL Wines.

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