The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 62 of 140

COVER STORY How did you first begin in the wine business? When my father retired from real estate, he announced he wanted to open a wine retail store. Anthony Paterno, my father's friend, and sub- sequently my father-in-law, helped my father get a foot in the door, establish- ing one of Chicago's first self-service wine shops. Robert Mondavi, who was just emerging at the time, convinced my father-in-law to move me out of the retail business and bring me into the wine industry. So I left to work with my father-in-law in a bottling and distribu- tion firm, and suddenly there I was in the mid-'50s learning about the finest wines of the time. So we're in the 1960s now, and you decide to become an importer. I had the extreme good luck of meeting Alexis Lichine who, in 1961, made my father-in-law and me his main Illinois distributors. From there, we were able to get the wines of Frank Schoonmaker, Latour, Drouhin, Roederer and many more. Henry Behar from Vintage Wines in New York carried Bouchard, so I called Henry and told him I wanted Bouchard for Illinois. He said OK, on the condition that I agreed to take a sparkling rosé in a crock bottle that was just coming into the U.S.—not the most ideal—but I took it anyway: 600 cases of it. And we got Bouchard. The rosé turned out to be Lancers, which became a pop wine sensation. So within 12 years, we'd landed many of the important restau- rant wines. You're known in the industry as the Father of Pinot Grigio. Why? I wanted to have an Italian wine that listed a varietal on the label, not just red or white. I was at a hotel in Milan and I asked the maître d' to bring me a wine I'd never tried before. He brought me a Pinot Grigio. The next day, I called Renato Ratti for suggestions on places to sample Pinot Grigio wines. My first meeting was with Santa Margherita. I fell in love. So I convinced them to give me wine for the U.S., where there were at most six or seven Pinot Grigios at the time. It became a huge success, and today, it is the second largest white wine category in the U.S. Seen here with their father Tony in one of their family-owned Napa Valley Vineyards, sons John (Vice Chairman) and Bill (CEO) run Terlato Wines together with their father. 62 / the tasting panel / november 2012 Let's talk about the Terlato line. We started making Pinot Grigio with the 2004 vintage, but the Terlato brand now also includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Our Peak line followed. That includes Angels' Peak, which is primarily Merlot; Devils' Peak, mostly Cabernet Franc; and Cardinals' Peak, which is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. EPISODE is essentially our interpreta- tion of a Bordeaux blend. Then we have GALAXY, in which we include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, each grown in different appellations by three PHOTO: BOB HOLMES

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