Morrell Family Tradition
Roberta Morrell, President & CEO, Morrell & Co
A New York institution since 1947, Morrell & Company owes its origins to the brothers Samuel and Joseph Morrell, who entered the American wine trade in ther 1920′s as salesmen for an old fashioned Virginia winery. When Prohibition hit, the brothers remained active as vintners to New York City’s churches, synagogues, and physicians.
In 1947, the brothers parted ways and Sam opened a small wine store on East 49th Street. Over the next 65 years, three generations of Morrells made their careers as merchant vintners to Gotham City wine lovers.
In 1972, Morrell & Company launched the Wine Emporium on East 53rd Street, the first major new wine store to open in New York in over three decades – with over 5,000 square feet devoted to wine.
In the mid 1970’s, Morrell & Company became the first New York wine merchant to publish catalogs with our own extensive tasting notes.
In 1980, Morrell & Company started The New York City Chapter of The Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine and soon thereafter we were among the first American wine merchants to invite the proprietors of top Bordeaux chateaus to come to New York to taste their wines with New York area wine lovers.
In the ‘90s, we launched our first Annual International Wine Fair, our “Celebrity Saturday” in-store wine tastings and our special format catalogs, ‘The 100 Best Wines of the Year.’ Roberta Morrell took American wines to Russia, and, once again, Morrell & Company was first to take up the gavel and hold the first open to the public Fine Wine Auction in New York on April 29, 1994.
Roberta Morrell spent most of her childhood in and around the world of the wine and restaurant trade. It was during those early years that she developed her fascination with wine and food. After college she married and moved with her young family to southern Spain where she lived for over six years, traveling extensively to vineyards throughout Spain, France and Italy, furthering her wine knowledge.
After her return to the U.S. in 1976, Roberta rejoined Morrell & Company, which by then had become a mecca for wine-lovers in Manhattan. Working with her brother Peter, now retired, and her husband Nikos Antonakeas, she became involved in the marketing and administrative aspects of the business.
Today the highly visible and energetic President & CEO of Morrell & Company, Roberta is a member of numerous wine and food fraternities. She particularly enjoys lecturing and arranging wine tastings for professional groups.