After 50 years in the wine industry, wine is still an inspiration for me. Every vintage brings an anticipation and excitement. After all, it’s a new birth.
When I discovered Pinot Grigio in Italy, I was taken by its fresh aromas, its crispness, freshness and the way it paired effortlessly with foods. It was virtually unknown when I brought it to the United States in 1979. Not surprisingly, an entire nation of wine drinkers embraced Pinot Grigio for the same reasons I did. Today Pinot Grigio is the most requested wine in fine restaurants, and Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is the quality leader for the varietal. The U.S. was introduced to a new wine, as well as a new level of quality from Italy. I still feel about it today the same way I did the first time I tasted it.
The Syrah from the Rhone Valley, dense, rich and aromatic, immediately captured my fascination as well. It was a wine that could stand alongside the best of another classic, Cabernet Sauvignon, because the taste profiles were similar: dense, rich and aromatic. We have fashioned our Syrah along those same lines.
Of course, like most wine lovers, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Bordeaux, the aristocracy of red wines, a blend of classic varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Angels’ Peak is the first of three blends we will introduce.
When we decided to become vintners, our winemaking team found the right soil, and climate conditions that suited our needs. We planted some vineyards, bought others and Terlato Family Vineyards was born. It is small venture, but a sincere tribute to the wines and winemakers who have inspired us for decades.
My regard for these winemakers is as artists and dreamers. I know this is true because now as a winemaker myself. I want Terlato Family Vineyards to stand among the finest wines in the world, with those crafted by my friends.
Terlato Family Vineyards has no available wines.
A rarity among winemakers, Doug Fletcher is as comfortable in the vineyard as he is in the cellar. He has worked with Stags Leap District fruit for more than two decades and in the process has become a leader in growing and crafting wines from the District. Fletcher began his career as a winemaker in the mid 1970s. He arrived at Chimney Rock in 1987 and oversaw the replanting of the original estate vineyard, as well as 65 acres of additional plantings done under the Terlato Family’s leadership in 2001.
Elizabeth Vianna attributes her career in winemaking to a glass of 1985 Sociando Mallet, which she enjoyed at a pre-auction tasting at Christie’s in New York. A biology major at Vassar College, Elizabeth was originally on the pre-medical school track. She fell in love with wine as a consumer while living in New York City, working as a clinical toxicologist at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Her strong science background and sudden infatuation with wine propelled her to apply to the University of California – Davis, and its renowned winemaking program instead of medical school.
Bryan Parker joined Terlato Wine Group in June 2003, and is the winemaker for Terlato Family Vineyards Syrah and Pinot Grigio, reporting directly to Doug Fletcher. Parker came to Terlato Family Vineyards from Pine Ridge Winery in Napa Valley, where he was assistant winemaker for two years.
Growing up amongst the vineyards of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, Marisa Taylor Huffaker seemed destined to find a career in winemaking. At a young age, she recalls visits to the vineyards to watch her godfather, a vineyard manager, work in the vines. And like most people who grow up in Wine Country, wine was a typical fixture at her family’s dinner table. During those impressionable years, Marisa developed a deep appreciation for the process of taking the tender grapes from vine to the glass, generating the spark of what would become her professional calling.