We present the wines of small vineyards in this competitive worldwide market, in order to defend an endangered species — winemakers who work like artisans, crafting a different wine each year. They do not impose a preconceived taste on their wines, but look to be surprised by what nature gives them — natural wines.
Natural wines are low-tech or no-tech. These are handmade wines in the truest sense from a group of passionate winemakers that go one step further than organic and biodynamic producers by using organic methods in the cellar as well as in the vineyard — meaning no laboratory yeasts, enzymes, sugar, artificial concentrators, acidification, or sulfites are added during fermentation, and the wines are aged and bottled without stabilizers, or excessive filtering or sulfites.
Equally important, these grower-producers take special care to reduce yields, handpick the grapes, avoid pumps or other rough treatment of their harvest, and plow the earth between the vines, which forces the roots to dive down deep in a thirsty search for terroir.
Natural wines, pure wines, real wines, wines from the terroir, complex wines, wines for thirst!
This philosophy of winemaking differentiates these wines from the all too common taste of technology-driven wines, and offers us what wines should — mystery, romance, and adventure!
We created Jenny & François Selections in 2000. We distribute our wines in New York ourselves, through USA Wine Imports. We also work with fabulous distributors in other states across the USA. We feel close in philosophy and goals to movements such as Fair Trade and Slow Foods, as well as environmental movements. Our hope is that Jenny & François Selections helps passionate winemakers, who respect the environment and high standards of quality, to continue what they do by bringing their wines to the United States.
We love to educate about natural wines, and share our excitement for these wines with passionate wine professionals and individuals across the US.
Jenny Lefcourt, a native New Yorker, originally landed in Paris to study French film during her PhD at Harvard.
After many visits to Paris winebars and vineyards throughout France, all paths led to wine instead of academia.
Jenny runs the company out of our Soho office in NYC. She lives on the Upper West Side with the talented photographer James Robinson and their daughter, Zoe, born Feb. 2012.
Photo credit: @jamesrobinsonpictures.com
François Ecot, during his years playing jazz piano and tuning and restoring accordians in his native Paris, not only developed his musical ear, but also his smell and taste for wine.
His childhood visits to Chablis vineyards near his family home in Burgundy sparked his interest early. In 1999, he went back to school for winemaking in Beaune, and spent years apprenticing at vineyards doing everything from plowing with a horse to harvesting. He now even makes wine from a small plot of vines he planted in Burgundy.
His hands-on experience in the vines and cellar are a big part of what makes Jenny & François Selections so unique.
François spends most of his time finding fabulous natural wines on his travels through France and beyond. He also makes his own wine in Burgundy and has a small “négociant” company which purchases grapes from which he makes wine under his name.
Nick Gorevic had his first taste of Natural Wine (Marcel Lapierre’s Morgon) in 2008, and hasn’t looked back since. Shortly there after he made a pilgrimage to France with his wife, who was getting her masters in French, where they lived for 1 year. He worked the harvest at Chateau Cambon (Domaine Lapierre’s second label), and spent the time attending every Natural Wine Tasting he could, and visiting every Winemaker he could find. When he returned in the fall of 2010 he sought out Jenny with a desire to bring what he learned to the New York City wine scene. Nick is also responsible for the design of this website, and all Jenny & François social media. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter Lila, born in February 2012.
After many years in the restaurant industry in both NY and Phoenix as well as exploring her love of wine outside of work, Lauren Kennedy moved back to her home in New York and began her wine career at Shinn Estate Vineyards, a small biodynamic vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island. As Shinn’s tasting room manager she learned about viticulture and winemaking and in the process developed a love for natural wine. In 2011 she moved to Brooklyn and began working for Jenny & Francois Selections where she is inspired to continue working with handcrafted, honest wines that she feels good about sharing. In her free time she enjoys writing, photography, and traveling and hopes to eventually integrate her love of travel with her passion for good wine.
Phil Sareil began his career in wine in 1987 working in Kermit Lynch’s now famous Berkeley wine shop. In 1988, he tasted Marcel Lapierre’s wine at his uncle’s house in France, and after he showed the wine to Kermit, he began importing the wine in 1989. He worked the harvest at Domaine Lapierre in 1997, and after that moved to New York to work in wholesale wine distribution. During that time he worked for Winebow, Polaner Selections, and finally at Kermit Lynch as a regional sales manager. After 25 years in the trade, Phil is as passionate as ever about wine and Jenny & François Selections is a perfect fit to continue his passion.