LAKE BLUFF, Ill., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Terlato Wines International President William A. Terlato today launched a new California wine in partnership with top ranked professional golfer Luke Donald. The new brand, named Luke Donald Collection, includes a Claret-style red wine blend from Napa Valley to release in April 2008 and a Chardonnay that will be released in March of 2009. The creation of Luke Donald Collection wines has its origins in the longstanding friendship between top-ranked PGA Tour player Luke Donald and fine wine professional Bill Terlato of the family-owned Terlato Wines, one of the nation's leading marketers and producers of luxury wine in the United States. Whether on the golf course or in the vineyard, both men share a passion for excellence, which ultimately led to the creation of this new wine brand. The two met while Donald attended Northwestern University, near Chicago, on a golf scholarship. They began playing golf together and eventually a friendship developed over their shared love of golf and ultimately, wine. "We considered the possibility of making a wine together several years back," said Terlato. "Luke was always interested in fine wine and food, and expressed his interest in learning more about the winemaking process. This led us to consider the potential for a partnership. We weren't interested in a celebrity endorser. We wanted Luke to be involved in the development of the wine from start to finish. It's a great opportunity for him and for us to produce an original wine that best reflects his unique personality." Donald plays an active role in crafting the wines that bear his name. His personal involvement in the blending sessions in Napa makes the wines original and unique; and reflects his own personality and style. Luke's personal style is also reflected in the distinctive and striking packaging and label, which connects with today's luxury wine consumers. "This has been a great, hands-on learning experience for me, working with the Terlato family on developing these wines from start to finish," said Donald. "It is about expressing our shared passion for quality and putting it into the bottle. When I tell people about the wine and my being involved with the Terlatos in the winemaking process, they are very enthusiastic and eager to try it." The two men gathered in Napa -- along with the winemaking team at the Terlato family-owned Rutherford Hill Winery -- to painstakingly craft the first wine, a Claret-style red blend. After tasting through more than two dozen individual vineyard lots, representing four different Bordeaux varieties, six different lots of wine from grapes harvested in 2005 were crafted to achieve the final blend. The grapes used in crafting the Luke Donald Claret are 100% Napa Valley fruit, sourced primarily from renowned Napa Valley vineyards, including the Rutherford and Stags Leap District appellations, known for consistently delivering wines of exceptional quality year after year. The end result is the 2005 Napa Valley Claret-style wine, handcrafted using the traditional Bordeaux grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The tannins are well-structured, mixed with vibrant flavors of blackberries and subtle spice notes, producing a wine ripe with flavor and supple texture. The blend is a full-bodied wine that has layers of complex flavors and a long finish balanced by smooth tannins. It's a young wine that will benefit from time in the bottle. Suggested retail price is $40. A Luke Donald Collection Chardonnay from Carneros is scheduled to be released in spring 2009. 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, Luke Donald Collection, 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