Paterno Wines International has added the first South African wines to its stable after signing a US import and marketing deal with Jean Engelbrecht and top golfer Ernie Els.

The agreement means Paterno, owned by the US-based Terlato Wine Group, will handle five premium wines for the two South Africans in the US market.

Paterno president and CEO William A. Terlato said today (8 January): "Ernie and Jean are driven by an unwavering passion for innovation and quality. With vision and determination they have crafted a set of amazing red wines that capture the unique South African terroir."

The wines include labels such as Ernie Els Wines and Engelbrecht Els Vineyards. Engelbrecht, who first teamed up in 1999, claimed Paterno was the "perfect US partner for our group".

He added: "Paterno has the skill, energy and expertise to market our collection in the United States. We look forward to a long relationship with them and to bringing the best of South Africa to America."

Paterno handles over 40 brands for the US market, selling wines from the Napa Valley, as well as countries including France, Italy and Australia.