Our heritage of sharing the best wines of California with passionate wine drinkers goes back over a half century, and Chimney Rock Winery allows us to carry on that tradition. We invite you to experience these elegant wines from the Chimney Rock estate – and hope you enjoy them as much as our family does.
Cheers from our family to yours,
“Consider quality a way of life. We do."
A well-known icon in the global wine community, Tony was often referred to as one of the few wine industry individuals who has had a profound and deep impact on how and what American wine consumers drink.
He entered the wine industry in 1956 and from that time forward, dedicated his time and resources toward making and sharing the great wines of the world. Throughout his entire career, Tony was dedicated to bringing the best of Napa Valley (and beyond) to America’s dining table.
Tony pursued everything in life with unbridled passion. Once he charted a course, he was “all in”, believing that the important accomplishments of life are accompanied by extraordinary effort and tenacity. He taught his children that it takes years to build a great reputation, and they should protect that reputation with great attentiveness. This was particularly true with the purchase of Chimney Rock in 2004. From day one, Tony vowed to provide his customers with wines of great complexity and world-class character, and he dedicated himself and his family to building the reputation of this magical place.
Beloved by many, Tony peacefully passed away in June of 2020. He also passed his life-long lessons on to his children who are now are passing them along to their children. By doing so, they are keeping Tony’s values, bright spirit and commitment to quality, alive with every bottle of wine they craft ensuring Tony’s remarkable legacy will continue in Chimney Rock for generations to come.
“Our family is privileged to produce Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District that rivals the best of Bordeaux. We want wine lovers to be confident they will experience an extraordinary wine when they see the Chimney Rock name on the label."
Chief Executive Officer of Terlato Wine Group and Terlato Wines since 2008, William A. “Bill” Terlato continues to blaze new trails through innovation, reaffirming his family’s position as a premier importer, marketer and vintner of luxury wine in the United States. Today, due in large part to his vision and dynamic leadership, Terlato Wines has a leading market share of wines $20 and up sold in the U.S.
Building on a tradition of excellence his father and grandfathers established more than 80 years ago, Bill Terlato has expanded the company’s luxury portfolio far beyond its original core business of importing fine Italian wines. Terlato now represents acclaimed family-owned premium wine producers from California, Italy, France, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, fostering powerful brands.
In 1994 he was appointed President of the company. As President, Terlato made the strategic decision to move into wine production and vineyard management. In 1996, with the purchase of Napa Valley’s Rutherford Hill Winery, the family completed the circle and became producers. In 2002, he led the family’s decision to sell its five Illinois distributorships, and focus all of its resources on building Terlato Wine Group (TWG), and investing in fine wine production around the world. His family, now four generations in the wine business, has achieved acclaim at every aspect of the wine business — as retailers, distributors, importers, marketers, winery owners and vineyard developers.
Under Terlato’s leadership, more investments in winemaking and vineyards followed. Terlato Wine Group Estates and Vineyards include: Rutherford Hill Winery (Napa Valley), Chimney Rock Winery (Stags Leap District, Napa Valley); Sanford Winery and Vineyards (Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara); Terlato Family Vineyards (Colli Orientali dei Friuli, Italy, Napa, Sonoma); EPISODE (Napa Valley); Klipsun Vineyard in Red Mountain WA; and the iconic Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, the first vineyard in Santa Barbara to be planted to Pinot Noir in 1971. The company also holds an interest in M. Chapoutier (Rhône Valley, France) and additional joint ventures in Italy, and California.
Terlato is active in many organizations dedicated to the knowledge and appreciation of fine wine. Current memberships include Commanderie de Bordeaux, Confrerie des Tastevin and The Renaissance Club. He was Honorary Chair for the 2003 Detroit Wine Auction as well as the 2007 Tres Bonne Année auction in Pennsylvania.
Terlato is very active in the business community, with memberships in The Economic Club of Chicago and The Commercial Club of Chicago. In 2012, he was honored as Businessman of the Year by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce. In September 2013, he was honored as Industry Executive of the Year at the Market Watch Leaders Awards Dinner. In 2015 Cronache di Gusto named one him one of the Top 100 most important people in wine globally.
Outside of the wine industry, Terlato is committed to education and community. Terlato was a member of the Steering Committee for the Lake Forest Country Day School Capital Campaign from 2002-2007 with his wife, Debbie, who co-chaired the Capital Campaign and was a trustee from 1996-2002. Bill and Debbie were members of the Parents Committee at Duke University from 2004-2011, and co-chairs of the committee from 2008-2011. They also served on the Parents Committee at University of Miami, where Bill is also on the Board of Advisors to the School of Communication.
"As passionate wine lovers ourselves, we take great pride in crafting wines with harmonious elegance and power that can be enjoyed today, but tell an even greater story when aged gracefully for years."
John, along with his brother Bill, was also fortunate to experience Napa in his early years, roaming through vineyards and meeting some of the great pioneers of the region with his father, Tony. He was exposed at a young age to the beauty and bounty that Napa Valley has to offer, and he is always ready and willing to enthusiastically share the bounty of the Stags Leap District with friends and visitors who drop in at the Chimney Rock winery. He is also deeply committed to the ideals of sustainability and longevity and seizes every opportunity to ensure the health, well-being, and longevity of the Chimney Rock vineyards.