WHY WE TASTE
The Morrell family always says that as merchants we have to show by our actions and not just our words that we believe in the wines we offer—we buy the wine and sell the wine, and so we have to have confidence in our own ability to judge the wine we purchase. We also look at wines as value for money, a search of wines that deliver the best taste for the best price. And while we follow what the wine critics say, we make our own assessments and taste a vast range of wines that Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate and others have not encountered.
We taste, evaluate, and purchase them with confidence so that you can have confidence when you drink them. For over 65 years our motto has been Taste You Can Trust!
In a very real sense the history of Morrell & Company began in the early 1920s when Samuel and Joseph, two of the four sons of Benjamin Morrell, entered the American wine trade as eastern sales representatives for an old-fashioned Virginia winery. Unfortunately, disaster soon struck in the form of National Prohibition! From 1922 to 1933, all beverage alcohol including wine became illegal with one exception: wines used either for sacramental or for medicinal purposes!
The brothers remained active throughout Prohibition as vintners to New York City’s churches, synagogues, and physicians, the last of which prescribed “a wine tonic” known as Virginia Dare which was made from the “foxy” scuppernong grape, grown extensively in Virginia since colonial days. In 1947, the brothers parted ways, and Sam opened a small wine store on East 49th Street. From these humble beginnings, over the next 60 years, three generations of Morrells would come to their careers as merchant vintners to Gotham City wine lovers.
In 1970, Peter became the first American vintner to identify the value of pre-phylloxera Bordeaux when he purchased a Double Magnum of 1865 Lafite Rothschild in London (from the famous Glamis Castle cellar) for the then world record price of only $520 (only about $130 per bottle)!! In 1972, Morrell & Company opened the first major new wine store in New York in over three decades known as our Wine Emporium - with over 5,000 square feet on East 53rd Street devoted to wine. In 1975, Morrell & Company christened the first California Wine Vault - a temperature controlled time capsule to monitor the aging potential of America's finest California wines. In the mid-1970s, Morrell & Company became the first New York wine merchant to publish catalogs with our own extensive tasting notes.
After 65 years in the wine business, in December 2012 Peter Morrell retired, and his sister Roberta Morrell took over as President and CEO of the Morrell Wine Group—Morrell & Company; The Morrell Wine Bar & Café; Morrell Fine Wine Auctions; and the Vintage Warehouse.
Roberta, who grew up in the business, is highly involved in the marketing and public relations side of the business, while also tasting and purchasing wines from around the world. She travels to the wine regions several times a year, including, Bordeaux, Champagne and Italy where she has numerous friends in the business. Here in New York, she is also a supporter of the arts and local charities including Carnegie Hall, St Luke’s Orchestra, Lincoln Center Film Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels and the Robin Hood Foundation.
or you may call us at 800-96-WINES (800-969-4637)