About Skurnik Wines

Skurnik Wines and Spirits is an importer and distributor of fine wines and spirits headquartered in the heart of New York City. We taste, select and offer for sale (to the trade only) a high quality, diversified portfolio of wines and spirits from around the world. The company began with just a handful of relatively unknown estates in 1987 and has since grown to represent over 500 estates. We are the exclusive USA importer for some of these producers as well as the local distribution partner for many of them in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and California.

COMPANY AT A GLANCE

Incorporated: 1987
Employees: 144
Headquarters: Manhattan, New York City
Satellite Office:  Jericho, Long Island, NY; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA

A FAMILY BUSINESS

The business was incorporated in 1987 by Michael Skurnik, and in 1989 he was joined by his brother, Harmon. Their sister Rita came aboard in 1991, and the roots of a true family business were officially planted. Today, every member of the second generation of Skurniks proudly fly the company flag, including Lisa, Michele, Nathan, David, Erica, Oren and Ryan. Similar to how our wine producers pass the baton from one generation to the next, Skurnik Wines and Spirits is poised to continue its excellence (and even improve on it) long into the future.

OUR NEW HEADQUARTERS

After 27 years on Long Island, in 2014, we opened a new state of the art sales office in the Flatiron District of New York City. We’re very excited to now be located in the center of the wine and spirits universe, amidst our many NYC customers, and centrally located for customers in the surrounding tri-state area. We have built comfortable facilities for educational seminars, sales tastings, conference rooms and are able to regularly welcome many of our licensed customers to visit our office and taste with us (by appointment only).

In 2017, we are particularly thrilled to expand our local distribution services into California with the opening of Skurnik Wines West, based in San Francisco.  We employ a full team of sales reps with full coverage of both Northern and Southern California.

We also have a satellite office in Jericho, Long Island, where our important back office functions such as finance, accounting, credit, compliance and other operations take place.

OUR TEAM

As selective as we are about the quality of wines and spirits we select for our portfolio, we are just as selective about the quality of our PEOPLE. We are fortunate to have assembled an ALL-STAR supporting cast of sales reps, sales managers, portfolio managers, credit managers, accounting, customer service and all other support employees that allow Skurnik Wines and Spirits to distinguish itself among the very finest importer/distributors in the country.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

The goal of Skurnik Wines is to search the globe and assemble the finest portfolio of estate-bottled wines and spirits available at all price points. Wines and spirits selected to be included in our portfolio must represent the highest quality with respect to character and winemaking. We are very proactive in seeking out QUALITY FIRST and will do everything in out power to insure that what we taste makes it INTO THE BOTTLE. Over the past 30+ years, we have developed an excellent reputation and it is our goal to insure that if a wine says “Imported by Skurnik Wines and Spirits” it is as close to a guarantee of quality as possible. To this day, Michael and Harmon taste every vintage of every wine that makes it into the portfolio – to insure that each is good enough to wear the Skurnik Wines and Spirits name. Wines are shipped using refrigerated containers (reefers) and are stored in our warehouse at a constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This insures that our products always arrive at the customer’s door in optimal condition.

OUR PALATE

We don’t have a “house palate” per se, but we do favor and select wines that express a “sense of place” i.e. “terroir”. Wines selected for the Skurnik portfolio must exhibit balance and finesse, and express identity. We never forget that fine wine comes from exceptional GRAPES grown in exceptional terroir, cared for by talented winemakers.

SPIRITS

We have also dedicated ourselves to developing one of the finest craft spirits portfolios available. The craft spirits movement is here to stay, and we have put to work the same noses and palates that have been so successful choosing quality wines, to select quality spirits. It is our goal that the Skurnik Wines and Spirits logo on the back of a bottle is as close to a guarantee of quality as possible.

OUR HISTORY

The genesis of Skurnik Wines occurred in 1970 when Ruth and Nat Skurnik (Michael and Harmon’s parents) went to France for the first time and returned home “winos”. It was after this trip that they built a wine cellar in our basement, stocked it with Bordeaux and Burgundies from the great vintages of the 60’s as well as a selection of Rhones, Germans and other goodies. Mom and Dad started opening wines with dinner each night and it was at our dinner table in Merrick, Long Island, that we got our first real exposure to wine.

Other roots of the company derive from a very close relationship between two brothers (Michael and Harmon) who, to this day, share many common interests (wine and music among them) and cooperate on a whole host of activities to make the company greater than the sum of its parts.

MICHAEL SKURNIK

In 1977, after graduating from University, Michael took a job waiting on tables at Windows on the World. During his stint at Windows, he became assistant to the sommelier, Kevin Zraly. At the time, Windows was at the forefront of the US wine scene. As assistant sommelier Michael had the opportunity to taste thousands of wines from Window’s extensive cellars, including all the Classified growth Bordeaux and Cru Burgundies all the way back to the 1900 vintage. Michael left Windows in 1980 and worked as a wine sales consultant on the streets of Manhattan for a wine distributor! Soon after that, in 1982 Michael accepted a position as national sales manager for the Clos de Tart, overseeing their national distribution, traveling extensively to markets throughout the United States to promote the fine wines of Burgundy.

In 1987, with a few dollars and a commitment to excellence, he founded Michael Skurnik Wines (now Skurnik Wines & Spirits) and began selling a few boutique wineries from California. The rest is history. The business grew rapidly, enjoying double digit growth each year and now 32 years later, Skurnik Wines represents a well curated, hand picked, diversified portfolio of over 500 wineries & distillers from all over the wine & spirits world, employs 140 people, and does a turnover of $135M/annually.

HARMON SKURNIK

Harmon joined fledgling Michael Skurnik Wines in 1989, after working for 10 years in marketing and advertising for firms such as BBDO, Needham Harper, and Market Facts. In his previous career, Harmon was involved in helping build marketing strategies for companies like Apple, Pepsi and Xerox. This helped shape who he became and many wineries since, have come to rely on advice that Harmon offers based on his diverse marketing background. Harmon has been a partner in Skurnik Wines almost from the beginning and has played an integral role in making it the successful company it is today. From tasting to buying to managing the business and its employees, Harmon makes his presence felt every day.