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Wine Vault: Our History
In the 1930’s, Anthony J. Paterno settled on the near west side of Chicago at the corner of Grand & Western. Here he built his family home, a neighborhood market, one of the first commercial pizza parlors, a bar, restaurant, and a packaged goods store where customers filled pitchers direct from oak barrels. Both the property and the neighborhood has evolved over the decades however, Grand & Western Liquors still provides products demanded by the community. Offering a variety of products from global name brands to the latest craft wines, beer, and spirits, Grand & Western Liquors continues to serve Chicago today.
In 1946, Anthony J. Paterno purchased a local domestic wine distributorship called Pacific Wine Company. At that time, Pacific Wine bottled bulk California Wines for distribution in Chicago. In the late 40’s and 50’s, Pacific Wine expanded under Paterno’s leadership to include estate bottled California wines (Charles Krug and CK) and European wines including Bolla, Fazi Battaglia, Lancers and Mateus.
The creation of Paterno Imports facilitated his desire to share the very best products he could find. Paterno Imports brought quality wines, oils, and other premium old world products into the new world market primarily Sicilian Gold from Marsala, Sicily, Extra Virgin Olive Oil from his home town of Buccheri, Sicily, and Gancia Asti Spumante produced in Piedmont in the north along with many quality wines and products from everywhere in between. Anthony J. Paterno believed in sharing the very best products from the old world with everyplace he called home.
Nestled in a small picturesque town in the Florentine countryside, Paterno found a new home, GREVE IN CHIANTI. Home to Giovanni da Verrazzano, down the road from the home of Amerigo Vespucci and the heart of Chianti wine making production, the town proved the perfect location to link quality Old-World Italian manufacturing and his New-World American distribution network which forever linked the Paterno family name to quality wine. Anthony Paterno and his daughter Michelin fell in love with Greve and the explorer’s spirit that dwell within it’s people.
In 1960, Paterno purchased a bottling facility in Greve from the Gancia Family. The property served as another family home, a manufacturing plant for the world-famous Chianti “Fiasco” Wine Bottles, and a bottling facility for wines from Mirafiore, Colli Senese, S.E.V.A., and Mazzoni. These wines were sold in modern wine bottles and the traditional “Fiasco” or straw covered bottles. Most of the wines bottled were shipped to Chicago for sale throughout the United States. Thus continued a life long legacy of importing quality Italian products from his Sicilian home in Buccheri, Chianti home in Greve, to share with his true American home in Chicago.
Constructed in 1893 by Ernesto Leproni, the property was used as cellars by the Union of Chianti Classico producers and subsequently purchased in 1913 by Count Emanuele Mirafiori d’Alba, until being sold to the Gancia di Canelli brothers in 1932. In 1960, Paterno made the facility his home and base of operations for Chianti production. After his death in 1978, the property ceased production and served many purposes for the town until falling into disrepair. In 1999, the property was purchased by the Bencista Falorni family of Greve and remodeled to include the very first Enomatic Dispensers. The property has continued to serve both as a home and business to many of the families in the town including the present proprietor, the Bencistà Falorni family and the new Enoteca Falorni, Click here!
Anthony J. Paterno worked with many Italian And Sicilian companies from Gancia in the north, to Mirafiore in Chianti, to Pellegrino in Sicily to provide unique solutions further exposing the American Marketplace to the quality products from Italy he enjoyed in his daily life. Many of the bottles he created are still coveted by collectors and wine lovers throughout the United States. These bottles are currently on display at Wine Vault and the Museo di Vino located in Greve in Chianti, just below the Bencista-Falorni Group and Enomatic Headquarters.
The Legacy of Quality Wine Reborn
Sicilian Gold began a brief hiatus from Production during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Anthony J. Paterno’s daughter, Michelin Paterno Lentino refused to allow the Family Label to be lost to time.
While traveling throughout Sicily in search of high quality wine vintages, the Lentino family discovered the Alessandro family in Camporeale, just outside Palermo. Another family partnership was born when in 2004, Les and Michelin Lentino established Lentino Enterprises to import and market the new Sicilian Gold. The high quality craftmanship and continual dedication to the improvement of every product has begun the renaissance of Sicilian Gold. Joined by their native varietal Sicilian cousins Donnata Nero D’Avola and Benede Cattaratto, Sicilian Gold is once again available in Chicago.
Pick up a bottle of Sauvignon or Syrah today!
Look for the Sicilian Gold Label below on Donnata Nero D’Avola, Benede Catarratto, Grillo, and our Reserve Late Harvest, Kaid Vendemmia Tardiva.
Illinois Retailers can Contact AWE, LLC for distribution.
STOP BY SOME OF OUR FAVORITE PLACES TO GRAB A BOTTLE TODAY!
Continuing the Legacy of Quality Products
Michael J. Lentino established aBetter Pour to showcase
Enomatic Wine, Oil, & Spirit Systems and Sicilian Gold. Now, Michael has opened Wine Vault to provide the best Storage and Transportation available to Illinois Liquor Distributors.
Wine Vault fuses Michael’s passions….love of family, history, wine, food, created and natural beauty. Representing the highest quality brand in modern wine technology, providing secured and temperature controlled storage and distribution, along with overseeing the Renaissance of Sicilian Gold. is a great honor for Michael. The incorporation of decades of elegant Italian design, a generational devotion to represent the very best products you can find in this world, along with decades of construction experience provides Wine Vault with the tools to best serve the Global Wine Industry.
The aBetter Pour and Wine Vault network can offer many products and services including wine, design, site prep, custom furniture, carpentry, drywall, electrical, finishers, insulators, painters, plumbers, computer systems, networking equipment, IT services and much more. Our generations of experience, attention to detail, flexibility, and desire to create aBetter custom product is clear each time our past clients call us first for every new project they encounter. Ask your local rep how aBetter Pour and Wine Vault can create a custom wine experience for you today!