Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017

•Diageo is looking to build its presence within the non-alcoholic sector through its Distill Ventures brand incubator, according to news reports. In addition to a partnership with Distill Ventures, the company is offering £10,000 ($12,700) to four entrepreneurs innovating within the non-alcoholic space. Since 2013, the unit says it has committed more than £25 million ($31.7m) in launch and growth funding globally, including backing for Seedlip, billed as the world’s first non-alcoholic spirits range. Other offerings within Distill Ventures’ investment portfolio include Stauning Danish Whisky and Australia’s Starward whisky, among other brands.

•Clément USA has been renamed and relaunched in the U.S. market as Spiribam. The company’s rum imports include Martinique-made rums Rhum Clément and Rhum J.M., and Rhum Damoiseau from Guadeloupe. In addition to revealing a new moniker, Spiribam is relaunching its Chairman’s Reserve label from St. Lucia, as well as releasing Bounty Rum and Admiral Rodney rum in the U.S. Spiribam’s rechristening comes 11 years after the company began doing business in the U.S. under the Clément USA name.

•Sonoma, California’s V2 Wine Group has hired Ann von Moritz as regional manager for the Northwest. Von Moritz joins V2 from Domaine Select Wine & Spirits, where she managed multiple states for the company. Concurrently, the company has expanded the responsibilities of four other regional team members. Rosaline Hansen will add Connecticut to her existing New England territory, while Frank Markovich, who currently oversees Florida, will add South Carolina. Additionally, Alex Wright will add New Mexico to his oversight of Colorado and Arizona and Westley Wallinger, who is sales operations manager and evolving market manager for North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, will add Mississippi to his purview.

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