A Brief History of Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
A Brief History of Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois

Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois is a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), is the leading nationally recognized wine and spirits distributor in the United States known for its historic commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service, creative marketing programs and partnerships. The Company is also known for its best-in-industry professional and well-trained sales, operational and support staff, its ongoing investments in and contributions to hospitality and beverage education for its staff, its customers and to many national educational institutions. In addition, Southern is justly respected for its deeply held belief in the importance of giving back, for being a socially responsible corporate citizen and for making generous contributions to national, state and local charitable organizations.

In 2002, Southern Wine & Spirits of America began laying the foundation for a wholesale facility within the Illinois marketplace; their 11th operation since the inception of Southern Wine & Spirits Spirits of America in 1968. An announcement was made in mid-February that Southern Wine & Spirits of America would enter a partnership with Pacific Wine & Spirits, a family-owned distributorship under the much larger enterprise: The Terlato Wine Group.

At the time, the Terlato Wine Group was directed by CEO Anthony Terlato, and included ten other conglomerates: four distributorships, an importer/marketer, two wineries, and three joint ventures to produce wine. Founded in 1946, the company was originally a local bottler of California wines under various labels, one of them being Pacific Wine. When Anthony Terlato was appointed President of Pacific Wine in 1961, he committed the company to the business of fine premium wines, with a special focus on the restaurant trade. This mentality helped Pacific Wine & Spirits become the number one wholesaler in the Illinois On-Premise market.

Nearly two weeks after the Pacific Wine & Spirits announcement, the Miami-based Southern Wine & Spirits of America declared plans to acquire Romano Bros. Beverage Co., the largest distributor in Illinois and the 12th ranked distributor in the United States. With more than 600 employees, Romano Bros. Beverage Co. had a rich and deep history serving the Chicago market. As part of the Romano deal, Southern also acquired three of Romano Bros.’ affiliates: Mueller Distributing, Central Wholesale Co., and Paramount Distributing, thus giving them a true statewide presence.

By October 2002, the transition of Pacific Wine & Spirits and Romano Bros. Beverage Co. to Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois was well underway.

With the combined portfolios of both companies, and acquisitions of other major lines, it soon became evident that existing facilities would not be able to handle the newly joined operations.

Therefore, in January 2003, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois moved to a new state-of-the-art distribution facility located in Bolingbrook, Illinois. In a market that houses the nation’s third largest city, North America’s largest Convention and Exhibition Center, and the world’s busiest airport, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois has a lot to keep it busy. Chicago alone, with its longstanding ethnic communities, world-class museums and award-winning restaurants, serves as a major component to Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois’ business (see www.chicago.il.org).

Then, in March 2005, Mr. Will Conniff was named as Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, in addition to be being Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Kentucky; and, then, in February 2012, Mr. Conniff took on the additional responsibilities of supervising Southern’s overall operation in its new Minnesota division.

Now equipped with a talented and diverse sales team, creative graphic arts department, educational programs, and in-house marketing solutions, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois is prepared to take on any challenge with poise and confidence.




About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs nearly 14,500 team members. Southern urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information about Southern and its responsible consumption program, see: http://www.southernwine.com.

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