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Issue Date: March 2006 Issue


An American Table

Gallo makes wine a family affair.


Marianne Frantz
editorial@clevelandmagazine.com

Ask about a vintage and most wine buffs will tell you a good story.

Somehow just knowing the history behind the label makes each bottle of wine come to life.

Take Gallo, for example. Founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo, the E. & J. Gallo Co. is now one of America's largest producers of wine. The company's post-prohibition success stemmed from the brothers' commitment to creating quality, value-priced wines with a consistent, rich flavor.

The Gallos slowly changed the country's attitude toward wine. By the 1960s, Americans were quick to sip anything Gallo, making it a fixture in millions of homes.

Yet, as America's thirst for wine knowledge increased, so did the level of sophistication. Many wine drinkers moved away from the bulk-wine image of Gallo to explore new regions.

Eager to please the growing number of wine enthusiasts, the new generation of Gallos reinvented the business as producers of fine wines from around the world.

Today, siblings Matt and Gina Gallo have successfully created the Gallo Family of Premium Wines. The line includes affordable Gallo of Sonoma County wines produced with grapes harvested from various areas in Sonoma; Gallo of Sonoma Single Vineyard labels made from grapes harvested from one location; and Gallo of Sonoma Estate wines using only the best grapes from select vineyard sites. Hand-harvested and produced from a single estate, these wines carry a higher price tag and elevate the Gallo reputation as a producer of fine wines.

But that's not the whole story. Other family members have worked to grow the business by adding familiar California labels such as Frei Brothers, Indigo Hills, MacMurray Ranch, Rancho Zabaco and Turning Leaf, and international labels such as Ecco Domani, Black Swan and Red Bicyclette to the company portfolio.

After 70 years of making wine in Sonoma, the third generation of Gallos is building on the passion and dedication started by their grandfathers. Proving once again that when it comes to making wine Americans like to drink, it's a Gallo Family affair.


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