The Rare Wine Co. is one of America's most respected wine merchants. We are specialists in sourcing impeccably cellared examples of the world's greatest and most sought-after wines, and our prices are often the lowest you'll find. We maintain a vast inventory of rarities at our home in Sonoma, as well as Europe.
While no one does a better job of coming up with whatever is hot and hard-to-find in today’s market, our real strength lies in finding the next superstar before others do, as well as in locating the great vintages of legendary producers.
The Rare Wine Co. was founded in 1989 by Mannie Berk. In 2002, a panel of wine journalists and wine trade leaders voted us the Best Wine Importer in America, as part of Food & Wine magazine’s American Wine Awards. And in both 2002 and 2004, Mannie was named a Wine Personality of the Yearby Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
The Rare Wine Co.’s newsletter is widely acknowledged as the finest wine trade publication in America. It is published monthly, with occasional special issues dedicated to areas of particular interest to us, such as Tuscan Olive Oil and Traditional Barolo.
Read by 7,000 of the America’s most influential private collectors, journalists, sommeliers and buyers, The Rare Wine Co. newsletter offers subscribers insight and buying opportunities unheard of in today’s wine market.
Mannie Berk, Founder
After an earlier career in government in Chicago and Boston, and a few years writing and teaching about wine, Mannie Berk couldn't resist the call of a vast quantity of old Madeira he found in London in 1987. Two years later he founded The Rare Wine Co. Since that time, he has made RWC possibly America’s finest non-auction source for older wines, including Madeira, of which he is considered the country's leading authority. In 2011, he edited and co-authored the second edition of Noel Cossart’s Madeira, The Island Vineyard, which the International Cookbook Awards named the best book on European wines published in the United States that year. In 2002, he was named Food & Wine’s Best Wine Importer, and he is a two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and two-time Wine Advocate Wine Personality of the Year.
Blake Murdock, Director, National Wholesale
When Blake Murdock joined The Rare Wine Co. in 1999, the company's primary focus was on sales to private collectors. Over the next decade, as National Wholesale Director, he built RWC into one of America’s most respected import suppliers, with national or California distribution of such iconic producers as Alvaro Palacios, Jacques Selosse, Dominio de Pingus, Giacomo Conterno, Giuseppe Mascarello and Domaine Huet. Prior to joining RWC, he worked for the first desktop-published wine magazine, the International Wine Review, and learned the wine business at Michael Skurnik Wines, the highly respected New York wholesaler/importer.
Barry Herbst, General Manager, Sonoma Office
As General Manager of The Rare Wine Co.’s Sonoma office since 2004, Barry Herbst has been instrumental in diversifying our retail portfolio with carefully selected California wines and private cellar acquisitions. Before joining us, he'd been in the wine business in the Los Angeles area for over 25 years, as captain and wine specialist at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois on Main in Santa Monica; wine director at Osteria Angelina in West Hollywood; owner of his own retail shop, The Wine Reserve, in Glendale; and in various capacities at Red Carpet and Beverage Warehouse. Barry was also a judge for ten years at the Riverside International Wine Competition.