“Kravitz still has a knack for finding good wines at great prices” – Robert Parker, Parker on Wine, BusinessWeek, 8/20 & 27, 2007
About Hand Picked Selections
“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.” The quote is from Thomas Jefferson. Of course the statement isn’t literally true. Mr. Jefferson would not have perished from lack of wine, although his pleasure in life would have been greatly diminished. Wine was something of an obsession for him and his failure (due to phylloxera) to successfully grow fine wine in Virginia was one of the few disappointments in one of the happiest and most successful of lives.
Jefferson was an aristocrat to his fingertips. His leisurely trips to Europe included stops at and purchases of Châteaux Lafite, Haut-Brion and d’Yquem as well as Romanée Conti. While I would love to emulate his purchases and drinking habits, like 99.9% of us I can’t afford those beverages on an everyday basis.
The goal of Hand Picked Selections is to provide consumers with moderately priced wines of flavor and character. I am convinced that America will be a better and happier place as we begin to incorporate wine into our daily lives. Those wines will rarely be Lafite or Romanée-Conti. They won’t be Napa Valley Cabernets, Tête de Cuvée Champagnes, super-Tuscans or garage Saint-Emilions. They can be mass-produced wines from multinational drinks corporations – these are far better than nothing. One of the greatest advances in the history of wine has been the adaptation of modern technology. Most of the world’s vineyards can now produce consistently clean and pleasant wines. Good as these wines are, there is no reason why we shouldn’t choose to drink, at comparable prices, wines of individuality and character. These are wines from vineyards cultivated by independent growers, harvested, fermented, aged and bottled on their own property, wines that give you a sense of the place where they were grown. It is those wines that Hand Picked Selections chooses to sell.
There is a different quote from a Founding Father that for me best expresses what wine can bring to us:
“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” — BEN FRANKLIN
What a perfect description. And what a great prescription for an improved quality of life in our beloved but increasingly harried and economically challenged America.
Hand Picked Selections, Inc.
Dan Kravitz founds Hand Picked Selectionsin Warrenton, VA, importing wines from France, with a focus on red Bordeaux.
HPS discovers/begins importing wines from Domaine du Pegau (Châteauneuf-du-Pape). Pegau will go on to become one of the top domaines in Châteauneuf, recognized among the world’s greatest.
With Domaine La Noble, Dan is one of the first US importers to discover the untapped potential of the Languedoc & Roussillon regions of Southern France, which will become anchors of the HPS portfolio.
HPS imports first wines from “Peña.” The co-op in Cases de Pene (Roussillon) will go on to become a key supplier of HPS.
HPS imports first wines from Pierre Boniface (Savoie). A then-unknown wine, Apremont, will go on to become a cornerstone of the HPS Portfolio.
HPS is incorporated, becomes Hand Picked Selections, Inc.
HPS imports first Spanish and Argentine wines. Dan blends first vintage of Panarroz, in Jumilla, Spain. Panarroz will go on to become the best selling wine from HPS.
HPS introduces the new brand Notro (Argentina) with great success.
HPS President Dan Kravitz joins French co-op La Tautavelloise in Roussillon. 2008 vintage from Kravitz’s Domaine Cabirau vinified at La Tautavelloise and released to great critical acclaim.