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News Briefs for May 24, 2023

May 24, 2023

•Trinchero Family Estates has promoted Dave Derby to SVP and chief commercial officer, charged with leading a new sales and marketing structure at the California winemaker. Derby will continue to report directly to president and CEO Bob Torkelson, and will unite sales and marketing under his new role. Also, Bob Tremain has been promoted to vice president and national sales manager and will lead sales execution, reporting to Derby. Tremain is a 15-year company veteran, while Derby has been with Trinchero since 1997.

•Diageo-backed brand incubator Distill Ventures has elevated Heidi Dillon to chief executive. Previously managing director of North America, Dillon succeeds Frank Lampen as CEO. Lampen will transition to chair of the company. Dillon is credited with playing “a central role in building DV’s non-alcoholic drinks practice … notably supporting the U.S. growth of non-alcoholic brand Seedlip, prior to it moving into the Diageo portfolio, and the launch of Ritual Zero Proof,” according to the company. To date, DV has facilitated five acquisitions by Diageo, including Seedlip, Australian cold brew coffee liqueur Mr Black, Japanese rice whisky Kikori, and German vermouth Belsazar.

•Mount Gay rum, part of the Remy Cointreau portfolio, is releasing a PX Sherry Cask expression, the sixth limited edition in its Master Blender Collection series. Made with pot and column still rums aged in ex-American whiskey casks for a minimum of 20 years, the bottling was finished for an additional year in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. Bottled at 45% abv and non-chill filtered, it’s limited to 4,200 bottles available at select premium retailers worldwide, retailing at $270 a 700-ml.

•Flecha Azul Tequila has expanded into Canada, giving the Mark Wahlberg-backed brand complete distribution across North America. The Tequila is made at the Orendain distillery and the brand is run by WES Brands, also the owner of Jamie Foxx’s BSB Bourbon. For its Canadian launch, Flecha Azul has secured placement in bars and retailers across British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. The Tequila retails at the high end of the market with its Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo expressions selling for around $45, $55, and $65, respectively. Flecha Azul also releases a $99 Cristalino expression and a $340 Extra Añejo.

•Sean “Diddy” Combs is launching Diddy Direct, a new platform promising to help retailers and consumers find and purchase spirits under the Combs Spirits umbrella, including all Cîroc Vodkas, Cîroc Spritz, Cîroc VS, and DeLeón Tequila. The platform’s interface includes location and product based search functions and an interactive national map to locate the brands at local on- and off-premise outlets and distributors. To support the launch, Diddy has teamed up with DJ Khaled in a new digital ad campaign. Combs Global co-owns DeLeón Tequila and is responsible for all strategic marketing for Cîroc, both in partnership with Diageo.

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