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 & François Team:
Jenny Lefcourt, a native New Yorker, originally landed in Paris to study French film during her PhD at Harvard. After many visits to Paris wine bars and vineyards throughout France, all paths led to wine instead of academia. Jenny runs the company out of our TriBeCa 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
Read Marissa Ross’s profile of Jenny in Bon Appetit, “Jenny Lefcourt Won’t Admit that She’s the Reason You Drink Natural Wine.”
Check out 750’s Profile of Jenny Lefcourt and her Natural Wine Legacy.
Scott Pactor opened Appellation Wine & Spirits in Chelsea, one of the nation’s first stores to focus on organic, biodynamic and natural wines in 2005. The store was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Jenny and Francois’ portfolio. Appellation closed in 2016, but Scott has remained an avid imbiber and proponent of natural wines and is thrilled to join the team in an operations role. Scott lives in northern Manhattan with his wife and two kids and enjoys bike riding with them to the tip of the island during his free time.
Florida transplant, Ashley Cohen moved to Brooklyn in 2011 after graduating from Florida State University. Since living in New York, she has worked in Film/TV Production, Brand Marketing and Event Producing. She is thrilled to transition her passion for natural wine into a career by joining the Jenny and Francois team and working with producers she has admired for so many years. In her free time you can find her with her three legged pitbull Verona, roller skating in Bed-Stuy and attempting desperately to keep her garden alive.
Louis Turano first caught the wine bug by coincidence, while living above a natural wine shop while working on Wall Street after graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in International Business. After working in New York and Paris, he left his corporate job in 2019 to join the floor team at Racines NY. Raised outside of NYC, Louis also enjoys cooking, gastronomy, travelling, and watching and playing soccer. He is a citizen of both the U.S. and France.
Karen Walker is drawn to use the right side and left side of the brain, and delights in the pull to balance logic with aesthetics. With years in the auction/art industry managing accounts, and knowing the importance of legacy and authenticity, Karen is keen to extend her analytical skills to this natural form of winemaking and distribution. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, she emigrated from there with her family as a child. She enjoys time with her family, hiking, traveling, visiting museums, taking dance classes, and exploring the complexities and balance in wine-tasting.
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 a 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. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter Lila, born in February 2012 and he consults on the wine list at June, a natural wine bar in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Nick is also responsible for the design of this website.
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.
Daniel Sutton began working at a wine shop while studying for his degree in Economics at Michigan State University. During that time, he also worked in various fine dining establishments and enjoyed many nights of cooking meals, playing music, and drinking wine with friends. It was then that his love of good wine and food evolved into a profession. In 2007, Daniel moved to New York, where he managed and purchased for one of New York’s oldest wine shops, and then worked as a sales representative in New York City. Daniel joined Jenny & Francois Selections in 2014 and is excited to manage national sales. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the accordion, mushroom hunting, long distance running, and watching Mich St. Basketball.
Linus Kessler is a local product of Brooklyn. He is a proud father of seven year old Penelope. Linus has been in the wine world for 19 years, and started in wholesale when he was 22. While gaining a classic education in wine, he was passionate about natural wine from the start with a trip to the Dive Bouteille, the Loire Valley’s famous natural wine fair, in his first year. Linus joined the J&F team in 2017.
With a degree in Environmental Studies and several years working as a chef under her belt, Leah Rinaldi feels right at home amongst the wines at Jenny & Francois. After a visit to Alsace to spend time with Christian Binner and his wines, Leah decided to leave a career in corporate events to follow her passion for natural wine. She immersed herself in the natural wine culture of Australia during a three-month sabbatical, before returning to Brooklyn to work for Jenny & Francois. When not drinking natural wine, Leah can be found rock climbing and telling dad jokes.
Hailing from Southern California, the wine bug bit early & hard. Anne Estrada explored California’s various wine regions while studying art & nursing in college. Working for over 20 years in hospitality, Anne first started as a wine director/educator in San Diego before leaving to start her Sales career w/ Amy Atwood Selections. Co-owner of Nat Diego, San Diego’s annual celebration of natural wines/producers, Anne has worked intimately w/ Jenny & François wines for many years before making the leap to the East Coast in fall of 2019.
Alyssa Mancini, our New Jersey Sales Rep, grew up in NJ and went to a fashion college in New York City. She has worked in restaurants since the age of 15 and fell in love with the nuances of natural wine while working in a gastropub near the beach. What she loves most is how the stories behind these small artisans reflect in the end product. When she is not selling wine, Alyssa makes sustainable clothing and sells vintage out of an Airstream.
After moving to New York to attend the Juilliard School and earning her BFA, Mary Allain found that her part-time job in restaurants had sparked a real interest in the world of wine. She earned her certification through CMS and began working full time as a sommelier and then beverage director, and has loved being a part of such a robust and resilient restaurant community. Mary is excited to bring her zeal for hospitality to the sales side of wine and proud to be working with many of the producers that helped shape her passion for natural wine years ago.