John A. Terlato

Vice Chairman
John A. Terlato is a principal of Terlato Wine Group (TWG) and Terlato Wines, one of the world’s leading luxury wine companies, based in Lake Bluff, Ill.  
 
After earning his law degree in 1986, John spent three years working outside the family business before joining Terlato Wine Group in 1989.  
 
John’s passion lies in the Terlato family’s wineries and vineyards in Northern and Southern California, which include Rutherford Hill Winery, Chimney Rock Winery, Terlato Vineyards and Sanford Winery.  He enjoys working with the winemaking teams in bringing to life the family’s vision of crafting wines that are classic representations of the varietals planted in their vineyards while also being  seamless, integrated, delicious and  tell the tale of the place.

John attributes his family’s successes to three factors: their commitment to and passion for making great wines, a shared vision with the Terlatos and their winemakers, and his family’s investment in  and focus on sustainable farming.  At the Terlato family’s wineries, John has supported and encouraged environmentally friendly initiatives, including conversion to 100 percent solar power,  innovative vineyard management practices aimed at protecting the land while increasing the quality of their crops and water conservation.  Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill wineries and vineyards are Napa Green certified (a Napa Valley Vintners Association independent certification), and Sanford winery and vineyards are certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

John also is passionate about Burgundy - Burgundian farming, wine making and wines. His passion for Burgundy  was borne from the his family’s purchase of  Sanford Winery and the iconic Sanford & Benedict vineyard in Santa Barbara County, both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay focused.   John travels to Burgundy on a regular basis, where he has cultivated collaborations with a number of winemakers and winemaking families, stemming from their shared love of Burgundy.  Today, Terlato Wines imports a growing selection of Burgundy wines including Mischief & Mayhem, Domaine Ramonet, Château de Meursault, Château de Marsannay, Château de La Tour, Domaine Labet, Domaine Georges Roumier and others. 

An avid wine and food enthusiast, John launched Terlato Kitchen , a specialty foods company producing exceptional small batch foods inspired by the recipes and foods enjoyed for many years at the Terlato family table alongside their wines.  
John is married with three children and can be found spending time with his family in the Chicago area and in California wine country. He is a member of the Chicago chapters of The Commanderie de Bordeaux, The Chevalier du Tastevin, the Renaissance Club and YPO/WPO.  

John is a frequent host of wine dinners and events around the world, sharing his views on the common threads between the great and important wines of the world and how those wines from families of the great Domaines and Chateau have affected his own family’s views on grape farming and the resulting wines they are crafting as vintners.  John attended Loyola University, the John Marshall Law School and the Harvard Business School Executive Program. His hobbies include fly fishing, golf and snow skiing and cooking.