Paterno Imports, the premium marketing division of The Terlato Wine Group is to represent Gaja wines in the US.

The Gaja winery, founded in 1859 by Giovanni Gaji produces Barbaresco and a selection of single-vineyard and proprietary wines including Gaia & Rey Charonnay, Sori San Lorenzo, Sori Tildin, Costa Russi and Sperss.

Owned and operated by the Gaja family for four generations, Angelo Gaja, the current owner has directed the winery into becoming one of the most renowned producers of the world. His latest wine estate, Ca Marcanda, is located in Maremma, in the Bolgheri area of Tuscany.

"As we enter this new phase in our evolution, Paterno's experience in developing markets for leading winemakers from Italy and around the world will help us continue to grow while maintaining our absolute commitment to quality," said Gaja.

"My family looks forward to working with the Terlato family, whom I have known and respected for many years," he added.

Paterno Imports represents 38 brands from seven countries and currently accounts for more than 25% of super premium imported wine sold in the US.

President at Paterno Imports, William Terlato said: "We are very proud to add the wines of Angelo Gaja to our portfolio. US wine consumers are gaining an appreciation for the distinctive wines of the world's best winemakers."

Paterno Imports is a unit of the Terlato Wine Group (TWG), a family holding company for the Terlato family's 11 independently operated companies.

In 2000, TWG's combines case sales of wine were over 3.1m cases.