Passion for Excellence

Luke Donald Collection wines are the result of a friendship between two men who have a passion for excellence.  Bill Terlato and Luke Donald share a passion for excellence on the golf course, and a deep appreciation for quality wines.

Bill Terlato first met Luke Donald when Donald was a student at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago. Terlato took lessons from Donald’s coach, Pat Goss, who initially suggested the two get together. Along with an interest in golf, the two men shared an interest in sports cars and ultimately, wine. Over the years, the two started to play some golf and spend more time together.

In 2006, Terlato floated the idea of creating a wine for Donald. He was adamant, however, that he didn’t want a celebrity endorser. Terlato wanted someone who would be involved in the development of the product. The opportunity to partner with his friend was a natural fit.

In 2007, the two men met in Napa to craft the first wine, a Claret-style blend. Six different lots of wine were used, all made from grapes harvested in 2005. The end result is a 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 has smooth tannins, good ageability and complexity, depth and body.  It’s a young wine that will benefit from time in the bottle.  The 2007 Luke Donald Collection Chardonnay from Carneros was released in spring 2009, inspired by Luke's passion for the great white Burgundies of France. This Chardonnay is a wine that reflects Luke’s passion for elegant, well-balanced Chardonnay. With an emphasis on crisp, clean minerality, and a restrained use of oak, this Chardonnay highlights the cooler climate and rich soils of Carneros, and is crafted in a style that pairs well with a wide variety of foods: from veal, chicken and risotto dishes, to shellfish, whitefish and even salmon.