The US wine group Paterno Wines International and the wine division of the Australasian drinks company Lion Nathan have agreed a marketing deal, which will see Paterno as the exclusive US marketing and sales partner for the Lion Nathan's luxury wine brands.

The 20-year agreement goes into effect this year, and includes wines from the Argyle (Oregon), Petaluma, St. Hallett (Australia) and Wither Hills (New Zealand) wineries.

"Lion Nathan shares our commitment to quality and their unique wine portfolio plans mirror our family's short- and long-term goals," William A. Terlato, president and chief operating officer of Paterno said.  "Our global portfolio has been carefully crafted the way a fine restaurant creates its wine list, balancing variety, region, style and price.  The addition of these outstanding wineries enhances our portfolio of exceptional brands."

The Lion Nathan Wine Group was formed in 2001 by the merger of Petaluma, Banksia Wines and Wither Hills. 

"Prior to selecting Paterno, we screened virtually every major U.S. wine marketing company to ensure that we partnered with a fine wine expert who shares our passion for producing and marketing the world's best wines," said Gordon Cairns, Lion Nathan CEO.  "Paterno has the largest and most professional premium wine sales force in the United States and their commitment to brand building, channel management and customer and consumer education underlies their impressive track record of success.  I am confident our relationship will be an enduring one that will drive significant growth of our wine business."