What we do, Who we are
Chemin des Vins, Jim Elston Selections, is an American company that represents a highly selected portfolio of small, family-run, artisanal French wine estates in the US market and parts of Canada.
We offer our customers a range of top quality wines from the finest wine producing regions of France: Alsace, the Loire, Burgundy, the northern and southern Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon, Bordeaux and Champagne.
Chemin des Vins sells to importers and distributors two ways. First of all, we sell direct import to importers in larger markets that bring in their own containers and want to take advantage of lower costs by doing their own importing and paying in euros.
Secondly, for the convenience of smaller markets and customers who do not do their own importing, we maintain stocks of a more limited selection of product at Hanover Warehouse in New Jersey. These are billed in $US.
(Please note that Chemin des Vins does not sell directly to retail stores, restaurants or consumers.)
Jim Elston – A Brief Biography
Jim Elston, President of Chemin des Vins, has a PhD in History (American Foreign Policy) and was a professor for 8 years at Boston College and Boston University. Converting his hobby into his primary source of employment, he followed his passion for wine into the trade in 1984. He spent a year managing a fine wine retail store and then moved into wholesale sales for Classic Wine Imports, the premier fine wine importing and distributing company in New England. He quickly found that his academic skills (public speaking, running seminars, and writing) were highly transferable to sales. He rapidly became top salesman in the state with yearly sales over $2 million, serving many of the key accounts on and off premise.
In 1996 he had the opportunity to become Wine Buyer and Director of Sales for Classic. As Director of Sales until mid-2000, he managed the sales staff of 20, coordinated extensive pre-arrival and direct import sales, and allocated scarce products. As Wine Buyer until 2002, he had primary responsibility for purchasing 6,000 skus, managing inventory,
determining pricing, negotiating goals and programming with suppliers, organizing the buying and selling of Bordeaux futures, and regularly attending major wine shows (Vin Expo, Union des Grands Crus, Grand Jours de Bourgogne, etc). He was responsible for the continuing education of the sales staff and was featured speaker at numerous events, wine dinners and training seminars for the staffs of hotels and restaurants.
In 2002, using numerous contacts built up over the years, Jim left Classic to establish Chemin des Vins as an independent source of the fine wines of France. Jim works from an office in his home and works hard to coordinate shipping and sales to his distributor network. He is available to make presentations to wholesale sales staffs, visit key accounts with sales people, and to speak at wine events and dinners.