About Skurnik Wines
Skurnik Wines & Spirits is an importer and distributor of fine wines and spirits headquartered in the heart of New York City. We represent 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, most of which are family-owned-and-operated. We are a national importer, and also have a direct wholesale distribution network in eight states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and California.
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 has proudly flown 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 & Spirits is poised to continue its excellence (and even improve on it) long into the future.
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 & Spirits to distinguish itself as being among the very finest importer/distributors in the country.
The goal of Skurnik Wines & Spirits is to search the globe and assemble the finest portfolio of estate-bottled wines and spirits available at all price points. Wines and spirits 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 our 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 every product that sports the Skurnik logo is as close to a guarantee of quality as possible. To this day, Michael and Harmon taste and approve every item that makes it into the portfolio — insuring that each is good enough to wear the Skurnik name. Our fine wines are shipped using refrigerated containers (reefers) and stored in our temperature-controlled warehouses, insuring that our products always arrive at the customer’s door in optimal condition.
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 and spirits 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.
More recently, we have created one of the finest craft spirits portfolios in the country. 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 our spirits. It is our goal that the Skurnik Wines & Spirits logo on the back of a bottle is as close to a guarantee of quality as possible.
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.
In 1977, after graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Michael took a job waiting on tables on top of the World Trade Center, at Windows on the World. He left his job as a waiter to become assistant to Windows’ world-famous sommelier, Kevin Zraly, where his exposure to fine wines was unparalleled. Michael left Windows in 1980 to sell wines on the streets of Manhattan for a local fine wine distributor. Soon after that, Michael moved on to become the national sales manager for a well-known French Burgundy negociant, overseeing their national distribution, and traveling extensively to markets throughout the United States to promote the fine wines of Burgundy and Beaujolais.
In 1987, with a few dollars and a commitment to excellence, he founded what was then called “Michael Skurnik Wines” and started by procuring a few boutique wineries from California. The rest is history. The business grew rapidly and now over 30 years later, Skurnik Wines & Spirits represents a well curated, hand-picked, diversified portfolio of over 500 wineries & distillers from all over the wine and spirits world, and proudly employs over 180 people.
In 1989, Harmon was a business school graduate and a prominent advertising executive when he decided to take his experience and insights and join forces with his brother at his fledgling company. In the 30 years since, Harmon has developed a formidable palate and, along with his business acumen, has played a prominent role in shaping the success of the company. To this day, Harmon and Michael taste and make the decisions on every wine and spirit that enters the Skurnik portfolio.
Of the numerous accomplishments in Harmon’s career, he is most proud of the ascent of both his children, David and Erica, to important managerial roles at the company. He marvels at their many contributions to the company’s success, and is confident that the company he and his brother built from scratch will be in in good hands for many years to come.