What started as a love affair for Lance and Susan McKee with French wines and Juveniles Wine Bar has evolved into an enterprising import and distribution business-Encore Wine Imports. We look for great people making great wines from around the world to bring to the market.
The world of wine was introduced to us when we were in our 20s, living and traveling throughout Europe. For three years we explored to our palates’ content, sampling local cuisine and, of course, the proprietary beverages. Through this experience, we developed an understanding of the natural relationship between food and wine, and the importance of how each enhances the other.
When we returned to the States, we established that we’d incorporate ongoing excursions to Europe in the years to come. Eventually we realized that we were planning our trips around French wine regions. Each adventure (about 2-4 annually) began and ended in Paris, which represented an escape from our career responsibilities as a CPA (Lance) and antiques dealer (Susan). The more knowledge and tastings we consumed, the more we found ourselves imagining a future devoted to this lifestyle.
It was then that we discovered and “fell in love” with Juveniles Wine Bar and owner Tim Johnston, spending more time there with Tim than anywhere else in Paris, or in all of France for that matter.
With my parents I couldn’t help but develop a passion for food and wine. As a teenager and young adult, I was introduced to quality wines from around the world at the dinner table.
After working in film in New York City I decided to follow my passion for wine and got my first job working in a store in Brooklyn owned by a sommelier. Shortly thereafter I was hired by a small French focused wine distributor before I joined a major fine wine importer/distributor where I worked for 7 years.
With my mother’s death in 2009 I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life and decided to join my father (somehow I convinced him) at Encore in the fall of 2010.
Over the past 10 years, I have visited Vintners in Europe, Australia and throughout the USA tasting and looking for high quality, small producers that are the backbone of the Encore Wine Portfolio today.
We are proud of the Encore Wine portfolio, and know that you and your customers will enjoy the wines almost as much as we enjoyed the journey to bring them to you.