The Enduring Legacy of Wine Visionary Anthony J. “Tony” Terlato Raises $40,000 for Illinois Restaurant Workers

LAKE BLUFF, IL (Oct 25, 2022) – Throughout his career Anthony J. “Tony” Terlato pioneered quality wines and had an enormous impact on America’s drinking habits and appreciation of wine and food. In 1979 Tony Terlato introduced American palates to Pinot Grigio and created a new category for white wine that remains in place to this day. His trailblazing career spanned more than sixty years, and he was regarded as “The Father of Pinot Grigio.” Terlato passed away in June 2020, but the Terlato family, a proud four-generation family business, continues his mission of producing, importing, and marketing fine wines and giving back to their industry and communities. In recognition of his enduring contributions, Terlato introduced the Terlato Legacy Program in 2021. This year marks the 2nd Annual Anthony J. Terlato Tribute.

With over 40 years of leadership in luxury Pinot Grigio, CEO Bill Terlato traveled to the Northeast of Italy in 2012 to create the next chapter for their family and the category. In 2014, he released Terlato Vineyards Estate grown and bottled Pinot Grigio from Friuli Colli Orientali DOC, Italy’s most renowned white wine region.

Again, this year in partnership with premier beverage distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the Terlato Vineyards Legacy Program established a challenge with Terlato Vineyards Pinot Grigio, the top-selling luxury Pinot Grigio from Friuli, to fund a charity in honor of the late Tony Terlato. With twenty-four markets competing to deliver the best performance, the enthusiastic competition was won by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Illinois for the second year in a row.

Their impressive efforts delivered a $40,000 donation to the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF). Terlato Vineyards and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits will each contribute $20,000 ($40,000 total) to support this important initiative with a check presentation that happened on October 25th at Lyra, 905 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607.

CEO Bill Terlato said, “Our partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is a source of great  pride, and it is hardly surprising that the Illinois sales team earned this victory again this year in our backyard. Many on the team have worked with our family for years, and our father would be deeply honored by what we have accomplished together. We are delighted that the IRAEF (Illinois Restaurant Association Education Foundation) is the beneficiary of the donation as the restaurant community has always been very important to our family and was near and dear to our dad’s heart. “

The restaurant industry, the largest private sector employer in Illinois, is still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Terlato Vineyards Legacy Program’s generous $40,000 donation to the non-profit IRAEF will assist colleagues in the food service industry with their efforts to move forward during these challenging times.

More information on Terlato Wines International is available at

Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits

Illinois Restaurant Association

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