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E & J Gallo Winery

E & J Gallo Winery

E & J Gallo Winery is a winery and distributor headquartered in Modesto, California. It was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo, and is the largest exporter of California wines.[1][2]

E & J Gallo Winery
LocationModesto, California, United States
Other labelsDon Miguel Gascon, Louis Martini, Ecco Domani, Mirassou Winery, New Amsterdam, J Vineyards, Barefoot, Apothic, Shellback rum among others
Key peopleErnest Gallo (founder)
Julio Gallo (founder)
Gina Gallo (winemaker)
Stephanie Gallo
VarietalsCabernet Sauvignon,Chardonnay,Merlot,Pinot noir,Sauvignon blanc,Syrah
Websitegallo.com [42] , gallofamily.co.uk [43]


The two brothers started the winery in 1933,[3] following the repeal of Prohibition after years of growing and selling grapes.[1] Ernest and Julio were competing against larger, more established, and better financed companies, including more than 800 wine companies established in California in the first few years after the repeal of Prohibition. Their starting capital was less than $6,000 (~$110,000 inflation-adjusted to 2017), with $5,000 of that borrowed by Ernest from his mother-in-law. The brothers learned the craft of commercial winemaking by reading old, pre-Prohibition pamphlets published by the University of California which they retrieved from the basement of the Modesto Public Library.[4]

By 1993, E. & J. Gallo was the country's largest winery, with a 25% share of the American wine market.[3]

In April 2019, Constellation Brands Inc. announced a deal to sell wine brands, including Clos du Bois and Mark West, to E & J Gallo Winery for $1.7 billion.[5]


Trademark disputes

Gallo Family Ruby Cabernet

Gallo Family Ruby Cabernet

In 1986, the Gallo brothers sued their younger brother Joseph for selling cheese branded with the Joseph Gallo Farms name. Joseph then counterclaimed, alleging that Ernest and Julio conspired to steal his share of the inheritance from their father. This claim included the winery, where the evidence submitted by Joseph's attorney suggested that it was actually started by their father. Joseph Gallo lost both suits and was forced to change the name of his business to Joseph Farms.[6]

In the 1990s, Gallo Winery made an agreement with Gallo Pasta (a Spanish company) that the latter would not sell their pasta in the United States.[7] Gallo filed a cease-and-desist order[8][9] in April 2009 against "The Spanish Table", a Seattle-based specialty food retailer, for carrying the pasta despite the previous agreement with the maker.[7]

E & J Gallo Winery is the largest family-owned winery in the United States.[10]

In February 2010, twelve French winemakers and traders who had supplied wine to Gallo for its Red Bicyclette brand were found guilty in a French court of fraud, as they had claimed an inferior wine sold to Gallo was Pinot noir.[11]


In addition to the Gallo Family Vineyards brand, the company makes, markets, and distributes wine under more than 60 other labels.[12] (See below for a list of other labels/brands.) The company also makes the low-end fortified wines Thunderbird and Night Train Express.

On September 14, 2007, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced a partnership with E & J Gallo Winery to produce a brand of wine labelled "Martha Stewart Vintage." The initial release was to be 15,000 cases, consisting of 2006 Sonoma County Chardonnay, 2005 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Sonoma County Merlot (for Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, North Carolina, Denver, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon).[13]

Labor relations

In October 2009, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (CALRB) revoked a 2007 election to eject the United Farm Workers from Gallo Winery,[14] citing interference from Gallo.

This was the second time in a decade a vote to remove the union was overturned due to allegations of Gallo illegally trying to influence proceedings; the other was a 2003 ruling in which the CALRB threw out an election citing a foreman improperly requesting signatures for the petition for the vote.[15] Gallo appealed that decision.

Ecological impact

Gallo helped develop and implement the Code of Sustainable Wine Growing Practices,[16] in collaboration with the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

The Code promotes sustainable practices which are environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially equitable. It covers virtually every aspect of the wine business including viticulture and grape growing, wine making, purchasing and building and maintaining productive relationships with neighbors and the local communities.[17]

Gallo received ISO 14001 certification from the International Organization for Standardization.[10] The certification was created to globally assist and guide companies to reduce their environmental impact.

In April 2009, the California State Water Resources Control Board served Gallo Glass Co. (a Gallo Winery subsidiary) with a cease and desist order and $73,000 fine[18] for allegedly channeling water from the Russian River into an unlicensed reservoir;[18] however, there are provisions for licensing the reservoir under proper monitoring of flow and capacity.[19]


Ernest and Julio were among the pioneers of wine advertising on television and launched many wine advertising campaigns. (One of these helped to popularize "Hymne," composed and performed by Vangelis Papathanassiou, by featuring it as background music in some of its television commercials.) They were the first to introduce brand management and modern merchandising to the wine industry, and led the way in bringing new products to store shelves. They were first in breakthrough quality initiatives such as long-term grower contracts for varietal grapes and grape research programs.[4] They were also first to establish a truly significant foreign sales and marketing force to export California wines overseas.[1]

Wine brands

A bottle of André

A bottle of André

  • André is the best-selling brand of sparkling wine in the United States.[20] It often sells for about $4 to $5 per bottle, depending on the store. It is available in varietals including Brut, Extra Dry, Cold Duck, Blush, Spumante, strawberry, and peach-flavored California Champagne, among others. André's California Champagne is bulk-fermented.

While the United States agreed in 2006 to not approve any new wine labels for US-produced products that include the term "Champagne," André is legally allowed to use the term as a grandfathered label. André's Brut California Champagne has been described as the sparkling wine that many people have noted was their first experience with this variety of wine. One champagne expert said it is "likeginger ale
  • pale yellow in color, lemony and on the sweet side, with maybe an apple flavor as well and low bubbles".[21]
  • Carlo Rossi is a brand of wine produced by the E & J Gallo Winery. The brand was named after Charles Rossi, at the time a salesman for Gallo and a relation of the Gallo family by marriage. Charlie Rossi starred in TV ads for the brand in the 1970s. Carlo Rossi wines were at one point the second best selling brand in the United States.[22] Carlo Rossi is reflected in popular culture in E-40's single, "Carlos Rossi."

  • Boone's Farm was formerly a brand of apple wine produced by the E & J Gallo Winery. Now, flavors are malt-based instead of wine-based due to changes in tax laws. The brand is popular on college campuses due to its low price.[23] Boone's farm beverages, served in 750 ml bottles are often located in the cold box area of convenience stores across the United States. In some U.S. states, such as Utah, some Boone's Farm products are labeled as malt beverages and not as flavored apple/citrus wine products, as state liquor laws prohibit the sale of wine in grocery and convenience stores.[23]

Barefoot Wine

Barefoot Wine is a brand of wine produced by Barefoot Cellars which is based in Modesto, California. The winery was bought by E & J Gallo Winery in 2005.[24]

Barefoot Wine was introduced in 1986 by Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey.[25] Barefoot is a brand whose slogan is "Get Barefoot and Have a Great Time!" Barefoot's winemaker Jennifer Wall produces 17 unique varietals and blends: Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, White Zinfandel, Moscato, Pinot grigio, Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sweet Red, Brut Cuvee Chardonnay sparkling wine, Extra Dry sparkling wine, Pinot grigio sparkling wine, Moscato Spumante, and Pink Cuvee sparkling wine. In 2007, Barefoot launched 187-milliliter bottles. Barefoot wines are distributed throughout the United States and exported to Canada, Europe, and Asia. In May 2010 Barefoot Wine announced new UK national grocery listings and new strategic partnerships.[26]

Barefoot has received several awards and accolades including:

  • Fastest growing wine amongst the TOP 5 Popular brands[27]

  • Market Watch Magazine "Wine Brand of the Year" (2007)[28]

Barefoot Wine sponsors the Association of Volleyball Professionals. Since 2007, Barefoot Wine has partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to form the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project.[29]

Additional brands

  • Alamos - distributor [30]

  • Anapamu

  • André

  • Apothic

  • Ballatore

  • Barefoot Cellars

  • Bartles & Jaymes

  • Bella Sera

  • Bridlewood

  • Boone's Farm

  • Carlo Rossi

  • Camarena tequilas

  • Carnivor

  • Columbia Winery

  • Covey Run

  • Dancing Bull

  • Dark Horse

  • DaVinci

  • Delicia

  • Don Miguel Gascon

  • E. & J. VS Brandy

  • E. & J. VSOP Brandy

  • E. & J. XO Brandy

  • Ecco Domani

  • Edna Valley Vineyards

  • Frei Brothers

  • Frutézia

  • Fairbanks

  • Gallo Family Vineyards Estate

  • Gallo Family Vineyards Single Vineyard

  • Gallo Family Vineyards Sonoma

  • Ghost Pines

  • High Noon Spirits Company [31]

  • Indigo Hills

  • J Vineyards and Winery

  • La Marca

  • Laguna

  • Las Rocas

  • Liberty Creek

  • Livingston Cellars

  • Louis M. Martini

  • MacMurray Ranch

  • Martĩn Cõdax

  • Maso Canali

  • Matthew Fox Vineyards (since 2004)[32]

  • Mattie's Perch

  • McWilliam's

  • Mirassou Vineyards

  • New Amsterdam Gin

  • New Amsterdam Vodka

  • Night Train

  • Orin Swift Winery

  • Peter Vella

  • Pölka Dot

  • Rancho Zabaco

  • Red Bicyclette

  • Redwood Creek

  • Red Rock Winery

  • RumHaven

  • Sebeka

  • Talbott

  • Thunderbird

  • Tisdale Vineyards

  • Turning Leaf

  • Twin Valley

  • Vella Wines

  • Viniq

  • Whitehaven

  • William Hill Estate

  • Wild Vines

  • Winking Owl (for Aldi in the US)

  • Wycliff Sparkling[12]

Vineyard trials

Viticulturists at Gallo use their vineyard resources to trial new grape variety plantings in California wine regions in an effort to see which varieties grow best in various climates and soil types. One of the varieties that Gallo has been trialling in the San Joaquin Valley is the French wine grape Ederena.[34]


E & J Gallo Winery was named the "Bon Appetit Winery of the Year" in the 1996, 1998, and 2001 San Francisco International Wine Competitions.[35]

Intangible Business, a brand valuation firm,[36] rated Gallo as the world's "Most Powerful Wine Brand" in 2006,[37] 2007,[38] 2008,[39] and 2009.[40]

See also

  • Globalization of wine

  • Napa County wine


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