Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida, a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America (Southern), has formed the Artisanal Fine Wine & Spirits division.

Laura DePasquale, a master sommelier (MS), will serve as the general manager of the division.

DePasquale joined the Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida (SWS-Florida) in 2015 as director of Fine Wine Strategy, and was given the responsibility to launch the Artisanal concept and division in the market in 2016. She will report to SWS-Florida division executive vice-president and general manager Gene Sullivan.

"The Artisanal division is a new and exciting concept in wholesale for Southern in the market."

Sullivan said: "I am confident Laura will be a strong leader of this innovative new division and will build and elevate its presence across the State of Florida for our suppliers and customers alike.

"The Artisanal division is a new and exciting concept in wholesale for Southern in the market. Like Southern’s Artisanal Group in California, we will be dedicated to small wineries, artisanal spirits, as well as new trends and brand development, combining a smaller, lighter approach to the market with educational events and consultative selling."

DePasquale said: "This is a tremendous honour and opportunity to build and expand Southern’s new Artisanal division in Florida. I look forward to building a great team at Southern that will support our Fine Wine and spirits partners and customers across Florida."

The new Artisanal division will function in the new Southern Wine & Spirits of Wynwood space in Miami.

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The building, spread over 17,000ft², will feature fine wine storage and other facilities.