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Anthony Terlato

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Name  Anthony Terlato

Books  Taste: A Life in Wine
Anthony Terlato 2004 Distinguished Service Award Anthony Tony Terlato

Anthony terlato s journey to discover santa margherita pinot grigio v2

Anthony Terlato (born May 11, 1934) is an American wine executive who is now chairman of Terlato Wines, a Lake Bluff, Illinois-based wine importer, producer and marketer. He has been called "The Father of Pinot Grigio" for his early role in bringing the now-ubiquitous varietal to the American consumer beginning in the late 1970s, when it was practically unknown outside Europe, and has been credited as a key figure in the shift in American wine tastes from "mass-produced, sweet, fortified jug wines ... to the likes of classified-growth Bordeaux, top Italian estates, and the best wineries in California that are enjoyed by many today."


Anthony Terlato Tony Terlato An American Wine Icon in the Mix Magazine

Anthony Terlato Wine Enthusiast Star Award


Anthony Terlato Catch Up with the Father of Pinot Grigio

Terlato's career began in 1955 on Chicago's North Side at his father’s wine and spirits store, Leading Liquor Marts. While there, he saw an emerging market for fine wines in the United States. In 1956, Terlato joined his father-in-law’s wine-bottling firm, Pacific Wine Company. He soon established relationships with Alexis Lichine and Frank Schoonmaker – two pioneer importers. At age 29, Terlato was named president of Pacific Wine Company.

Anthony Terlato Tony Terlato An American Wine Icon in the Mix Magazine

In the late 1960s, Terlato expanded Paterno Imports, which imported olive oil, to import fine wines. In 1979, he introduced Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio to the United States and over the next 25 years turned it into one of the most successful wine imports in American history – it was the most popular imported wine in Wine & Spirits magazine's annual restaurant poll from 1995 to 2008.

In the late 1980s, Terlato began adding wines from producers throughout Europe. In 1996, he made the family’s first winery purchase: Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa Valley. In 2000, the Terlato family purchased Chimney Rock Winery, also in Napa Valley, and in 2002, they added Sanford Winery in the Sta Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara County to their portfolio of wineries.

Anthony Terlato Terlato Wine Group Introduces Its First Jack Nicklaus White Wine

For his role in introducing Italian wines to America, Terlato was conferred the decoration of Cavaliere Ufficiale, Motu Proprio in 1984, the first American in the wine industry to receive this decoration.

Anthony Terlato 20 Questions with CEO Bill Terlato Terlato International Chicago

In the course of his career, Terlato was exposed to and/or befriended many of the wine and food industry’s notable participants and innovators, including winemakers Baron Phillippe de Rothschild and his daughter Baroness Phillippine de Rothschild, Christian Moueix, Jean Michel Cazes, Angelo Gaja, Michel Chapoutier, Michael Twelftree and Robert Mondavi and chef/Restaurateurs Julia Child, Jean Joho, Charlie Trotter and Lidia Bastianich.

Honors and awards

Anthony Terlato Chimney Rock Anthony Terlato

  • Cavaliere Ufficiale, Motu Proprio, Government of Italy, 1984
  • Wine Enthusiast’s Man of the Year Award, 2002
  • Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award, 2004
  • Horatio Alger Award, 2006
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Italy Wine Excellence Award, 2010
  • Wine Enthusiast's Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015
  • Books

    Terlato's memoir, TASTE: A Life in Wine was published in 2008 by Agate Publishing. (ISBN 978-1-57284-097-3)


    Anthony Terlato Wikipedia