LAKE BLUFF, Ill., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, the Italian wine that revolutionized the American market more than a quarter century ago, has been recognized yet again by two of the country's leading wine publications. For the fourth time, Impact magazine has awarded Santa Margherita "Hot Brand" status, based on 2007 case sales. The refreshing, food-friendly white wine also continues to dominate Wine & Spirits magazine's annual poll, as the leading imported wine in America's top restaurants. Imported by Terlato Wines International, Santa Margherita first received "Hot Brand" status in 2000. The Impact distinction came again in 2005, 2006 and now in 2007, further confirming the brand's iconic standing in the wine world. For the 13th consecutive year, Wine & Spirits named Santa Margherita the No. 1 imported wine sold in the nation's leading restaurants. Wine & Spirits also ranked the wine eighth overall in its "Restaurant Top 50," which includes both domestic and imported wines. The "Hot Brands" honor roll, to be published in upcoming issues of Impact and Market Watch by publisher Marvin Shanken, provides wine trade professionals, retailers and restaurateurs a snapshot of the hottest brands and other trends in the wine industry. Terlato Wines President Bill Terlato and Santa Margherita will also be honored at a "Hot Brands" reception in April, at the annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association convention in Las Vegas. "It's exciting for us to once again receive 'Hot Brand' status from Impact and such outstanding acclaim from restaurateurs in Wine & Spirits," said Terlato. "Our company was founded on the principle that quality is the only thing that endures. As one of our flagship brands, Santa Margherita embodies our family's quality philosophy. Wine lovers here in the U.S. can truly taste the difference." Pinot Grigio was an unknown varietal in the United States in the late 1970s, when Terlato's father, Anthony J. Terlato was in Italy, searching for the "next great Italian wine." In the small town of Portoguaro in the Alto Adige region, Terlato visited a restaurant in a local inn and ordered all 18 bottles of Pinot Grigio on the wine list. Interested in what Terlato was up to, the Inn's proprietor joined him. Together, they tasted the wines with a variety of foods and agreed the best wine at the table was Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. As is the nature of small-town life in Italy, the inn's proprietor knew the owners of Santa Margherita. The next day Terlato met with Santa Margherita President Count Marzotto. By the end of dinner that evening, Terlato Wines (then known as Paterno Imports) was the sole importer for Santa Margherita. Back in the United States and over the course of the last 26 years, Terlato built Santa Margherita into a mainstay on wine lists in the nation's finest restaurants and earned the title "Father of Pinot Grigio." Terlato Wines International has a global portfolio of more than 40 brands from a host of world-class wine producers and presently markets more than one out of eight bottles of wine over $14 sold in America. Terlato, with more 90+ ratings than any wine company in the world, is the flagship company of the Terlato Wine Group, the parent company of several independent businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. Owned and operated by the Terlato family, the Group also includes the family's winery investments and partnerships in some of the world's most esteemed wine regions, including: Napa Valley; Sonoma County; Santa Barbara County; Victoria, Australia; France's Rhone Valley; and Somontano in Spain. The Terlato Wines International portfolio of brands includes: Napa Valley: Brandlin, Chimney Rock, Cuvaison Estate Wines, Markham Vineyards, Rutherford Hill, Tangley Oaks and Terlato Family Vineyards; Sonoma County: Alderbrook, Hanna, Rochioli and Terlato Family Vineyards; Santa Barbara County: Sanford and Tangley Oaks; California Appellation: Glass Mountain and Seven Daughters; Oregon: Argyle and Sokol Blosser; Italy: Baglio di Pianetto, Ca' del Bosco, Ca' Marcanda (Gaja Toscana), Florio Martinez Marsala, Gaja, Il Poggione, Kettmeir, Santa Margherita, Tiramisu, Torresella and Distillatori Nonino (Grappa); France: Champagne Bollinger, M. Chapoutier, Chateau des Laurets (Rothschild), Domaine Chanson, Domaine Louis Moreau, Josmeyer and Langlois-Chateau; Australia: Branson Coach House, Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, Domaine Tournon and Two Hands; Argentina: Tamari; Canada: Peller Estates Icewine; Greece: Boutari; New Zealand: Wairau River; South Africa: Cirrus, Guardian Peak, Engelbrecht-Els, Ernie Els Signature and Rust En Vrede; Spain: Olvena; Switzerland: Xellent. For more information, visit http://www.terlatowines.com.
SOURCE Terlato Wines International