The move reflects a changing business in which traditional food magazines, and a Manhattan address, are less important.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
FEBRUARY 13, 2013
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC BUSINESS CORPORATION
2013 - AIV DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
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- Skurnik Wines, New York wine distributor, to enter California May 1
By Esther Mobley - Wednesday Mar 1, 2017
Starting in May, there’s going to be a new kid in town for the California wine industry: Skurnik Wines and Spirits, a 30-year-old New York company that imports and distributes some of today’s most sought-after wines.
“California is like our home away from home,” Harmon Skurnik, the company’s president and COO, told Inside Scoop. “We have 30 years of experience, and great relationships with suppliers, and we’d like to bring it out to this market.”
Skurnik first launched in New York as a distributor of only California wines. Its portfolio included Bonny Doon, Williams Selyem, Robert Talbot and, in her inaugural 1987 vintage, Cathy Corison. Today, it distributes a number of other high-profile California brands in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, such as Ramey, Kistler, Favia and Turley.
All of Skurnik’s national imports, which are currently available in California through other distributors, will now come under the umbrella of Skurnik Wines West. That means Raúl Pérez from Spain, Paul Jaboulet Aîné from France and the entire portfolio of importer Terry Thiese. Thiese holds one of the most enviable portfolios of any American importer, with the likes of Pierre Peters and Vilmart from Champagne; Eugen Müller and Dönnhof from Germany; and Schloss Gobelsburg and Nigl from Austria.
The California producers who rely on Skurnik on the east coast will be faced with a choice: to switch over or not? “Several of them have already committed,” Harmon Skurnik said, though he declined to name which ones. “But we don’t have any illusions that we’ll replicate the book we have in New York.”
Wine distribution in California works a bit differently from in New York. There, all wines are distributed by full-service distributors with full-time sales representatives, who sell wines directly from suppliers (an importer or a winery) to retail shops and restaurants. Here, it’s common for wineries to employ an extra tier: a broker, who acts as a liaison between supplier and distributor, providing sales and marketing assistance.
Skurnik is betting on a demand in California for its full-service model. (There are local boutique distributors, like Chambers & Chambers and Henry Wine Group, who already do business that way here.)
Some wines previously unavailable in California will now be on wine lists and shop shelves thanks to Skurnik. Look out, for the first time, for Doyard (Champagne), Michel Tête (Beaujolais), Domaine de l’Enchanoir (Loire Valley), Château la Grangère (Bordeaux) and many others. The portfolio of Little Peacock, an importer of boutique Australian wines, will also be in the Golden State for the first time.
The company will employ 8 to 10 salespeople all over the state, “from San Diego to Eureka,” Harmon Skurnik said. Its headquarters will be in San Francisco.