Paterno Wines International, the flagship company of Lake Bluff, Ill.-based Terlato Wine Group, is being rechristened Terlato Wines International to pay tribute to chairman Anthony J. Terlato's leadership in building the company into one of the premier luxury wine marketers in the industry over the past half-century.
William A. Terlato, president and CEO of Terlato Wine Group and Terlato Wines International, said, "For decades, our father worked to create a business that was a worthy tribute to our grandfather, Anthony Paterno. He succeeded in that endeavor in every aspect—in retailing, distribution, importing, marketing and now as a producer of quality wines. With today's announcement, my brother John and I are proud to renew our family's commitment to the tradition of excellence as our father established it."
Anthony J. Terlato began his career in the wine industry in 1955, working in his father's retail store, Leading Liquors. Soon after he joined his father-in-law Anthony Paterno's organization at Pacific Wine, Paterno's wine-bottling and distribution company. Terlato ascended to president of Pacific at the age of 29, transforming the company into a fine-wine-distribution juggernaut, the success of which led to the formation of Paterno Wine Imports in 1961. When Anthony Paterno fell ill in 1973, Terlato assumed leadership of the import company, making its name through the introduction of a host of fine Italian wines in the U.S., including Santa Margherita—which, having essentially created the Pinot Grigio category in the States, is still growing at a torrid clip, earning Impact Hot Brand awards the past two years through phenomenal success in the restaurant trade.
Over the past 10 years, Anthony Terlato and his sons, William and John (executive vice president and chief administrator for Terlato Wine Group and Terlato Wines International), have worked to expand the family business on the domestic production side, purchasing Napa's Rutherford Hill, Stags Leap District's Chimney Rock, Sonoma County's Alderbrook and Santa Rita Hills' Sanford. On the international side, they partnered with renowned Rhône winemaker Michel Chapoutier to create Australia's Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, whose first wines were released in 2006.
Today, Terlato Wines International's global portfolio includes more than 40 brands trending heavily toward the high end—including Italy's Gaja Toscana, France's Champagne Bollinger, Australia's Branson Coach House, Argentina's Tamarí and South Africa's Cirrus and Engelbrecht-Els, to mention a few—evidenced by the fact that the group markets one out of every eight bottles of wine over $14 sold in the U.S.
"The change to Terlato Wines International highlights our family's ongoing dedication to the wine business and recognizes our father as an industry icon," said William Terlato. "His passion and dedication to excellence is the philosophical foundation for our business, and this name change affirms our pledge to place quality ahead of short-term thinking and short-term results, with the ultimate goals of continued growth and providing exciting new opportunities for consumers around the world to explore and enjoy truly exceptional wines."