Terlato Wines, the leading marketer of luxury wines in the United States, today announced a long-term agreement to import and market the wines of Cusumano, a leader in the quality revolution that has recently made Sicily one of the world’s most exciting wine regions.
The Cusumano brothers—third-generation winemakers Diego and Alberto—blend tradition and innovation, producing wines from Sicily’s indigenous grapes as well as international varieties grown on estate vineyards in three prime areas on the island of Sicily.
“We’re proud to welcome a family-owned Sicilian brand into our portfolio,” Terlato Wines Chief Executive Officer William A. Terlato said. “Our own family heritage is Sicilian, so this is an opportunity to reconnect with that legacy and demonstrate to U.S. wine consumers that Sicily produces wines of amazing quality and value.”
With Terlato Wines, Cusumano joins a portfolio of wines that includes legendary producers from Italy and around the world. Terlato’s leadership position in fine wines was confirmed recently in new Nielsen research which showed Terlato the clear leader in the marketing of wines priced over $20 at retail with a market share that exceeds the next three competitors combined.
“This is why we chose Terlato—we wanted to work with the dominant luxury wine company in the U.S.,” said Diego Cusumano. “Everyone in Europe knows the power of Terlato when it comes to marketing luxury wines.”
The Cusumano holdings span approximately 1,000 acres and include three separate estates: Ficuzza, San Giacomo and Presti e Pegni, each of which offers unique microclimates and soils that the winery takes advantage of in its winemaking.
Ficuzza, at nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, has 467 acres planted 70 percent to white grape varieties, including the Sicilian white grape Insolia, as well as Chardonnay. Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) is also planted at Ficuzza.
The 346-acre San Giacomo estate is noted for the white color of the “trubi,” the mineral-rich soils that combine lime, clay and sand. Reds dominate here, with the Sicilian classic Nero d’Avola a key player. But Cabernet Sauvignon is also grown at the site. Presti e Pegni is the smallest of the estates at 173 acres. Among the grapes grown here are Nero d’Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
With these grapes, Cusumano produces expressive wines—clean, focused and contemporary. The range is extensive, from indigenous varietals such as the white Insolia and red Nero d’Avola; to modern varietals such as Syrah, Chardonnay and Merlot; to bold blends that merge the best indigenous and New World grape varieties in wines like the Cusumano Benuara, which brings together Nero d’Avola and Syrah, and Cusumano Angimbe, made up of Insolia and Chardonnay. The Cusumano wines will join Terlato’s Premier Portfolio of wines.