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Our Philosophy

ABOUT US

The Hirsch Collection was conceived out of the passion for exceptional wines from great places made by honest people. Our wines speak to the places they come from and the hands that craft them. We seek out wines that reflect a true sense of place. We value the story above all, and we understand that the American wine consumer has a deep desire to learn about the places and people behind each and every bottle. Our commitment to our producers is to share the stories of their vineyards, their families, and their region with passion and integrity. Our promise to our partners is to deliver wines of exceptional quality with true expressions of the place where they come from.

 

THE TEAM

Michael Hirsch - President

Michael came into the wine business after a brief career as a golf professional. Having studied Marketing/Professional Golf Management at Ferris State University, he lived and worked in Michigan, Florida and New Jersey. During the late 80s, while working in Montclair, New Jersey, a number of his golf clients were fine wine collectors and they began to introduce him to their favorite bottles, among them were first growth Bordeaux, grand cru Burgundies, and cult California wines. As his interest in wine began to blossom, he keenly started to negotiate his golf instruction services in exchange for fine wine from his clients – a veritable win-win for all parties involved! Wine remained merely a hobby for him until the wine bug bit him hard in the form of a bottle of 1981 Château Haut Brion. It was this moment that he was convinced he needed to turn his passion for wine into a full-fledged career. 

In 2003, Michael established Avant Partir, a fine wine wholesale company in the state of Georgia.It was in the early days of Avant Partir, when a rather fortuitous phone call with Robert Chadderdon would start the company on a path to becoming the state’s leading fine wine wholesaler. Representing some of the country’s top fine wine portfolios, including Robert Chadderdon Selections, Neal Rosenthal, Rudi Wiest Selections, Louis/Dressner, De Maison Selections, and others, Michael further honed his palate on wines from some of France, Italy, Germany and Spain’s most iconic producers. Later on in his career, looking to gain a greater understanding of import side of the wine business, he decided to take on the role Chief Operation Officer at Rudi Wiest Selections in 2014. Over the course of three years, Michael managed the sixty distributors in fifty states overseeing the sales of a blue-chip portfolio of German wineries. With a couple of decades of wine experience under his belt, and having spent time working at both the wholesale and import levels, Michael acquired an intimate understanding of the US wine business. He developed a strong awareness of the needs and goals of the players working within the complexities of the three-tiered system, as well as deepened his understanding of the expectations of the European wineries seeking to establish and build a name for themselves in the vast American wine scene. It is through these combined experiences, as well as his passion for discovering and sharing the stories of Europe’s undiscovered artisans and their wines with the American consumer that inspired him to start The Hirsch Collection in 2017.

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Allison Slute - National Sales Director

Allison’s career in the wine business spans over 10 years in a variety of capacities. Her first wine epiphany came by way of an unlikely pairing of aged Savinnières and seared foie gras at Scaramouche restaurant in Toronto. Since then, she’s done nothing but live, breathe and sleep all things wine. Her professional career began as export manager at Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada where she managed and developed their international business that comprised of nearly 45 customers in 33 countries on 4 continents. Over the course of nearly 8 years, she travelled to 23 countries expounding the virtues of Canadian wine, and consistently reminding everyone she met that yes there are pockets of the nation known for hockey and maple syrup that are in fact rather suitable for quality viticulture! Leaving the Great White North behind for sunny Miami in 2015, she began working for a marketing and communications firm that specialized in wine trade promotions and programming. During her tenure, she helped develop and execute marketing plans for clients like Wines of Provence, Wines of Beaujolais, Wines of Jura, and more. Allison’s passion for wine led her to completed her Certified Sommelier certificate through the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers in 2008, as well as the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level 3 program in 2017. When not selling wine for The Hirsch Collection, she serves as Michael’s French (and some may argue English) translator and the company’s resident linguist.

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