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 direct wholesale wholesale distribution network to 8 states; New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
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 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 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 & 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 & 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.
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.
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 & 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 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 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, employs over 140 people, and does a turnover of $135M/annually.
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 & Spirits 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.