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E & J Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo in Modesto, Californiamarker. E & J Gallo Winery is the largest exporter of California wines. The company has been pivotal in establishing Sonoma Countymarker as one of the premier wine growing regions in the world.


The two brothers started the winery following the repeal of Prohibition after years of growing and selling grapes. Ernest and Julio were competing against larger, more established, and better financed companies, including more than 800 wine companies in the first few years after Prohibition in California alone. Their starting capital was less than $6,000, with $5,000 of that borrowed by Ernest from his mother-in-law. They 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.

In 1988, 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, which evidence submitted by Joseph's attorney's suggested was actually started by the father. Joseph Gallo lost both suits and was forced to change the name of his business to Joseph Farms.

E & J Gallo Winery is the largest family-owned winery in the United Statesmarker. Thirteen members of the family’s second and third generations work for the company. In addition to the Gallo Family Vineyards brand, the company makes, markets, and distributes wine under other labels including Louis M. Martini, Mirassou Vineyards, MacMurray Ranch, Rancho Zabaco, Ecco Domani, Frei Brothers, Red Bicyclette, Bella Sera, Turning Leaf, Black Swan, Sebeka, Twin Valley, Napa Valley Vineyards, Barefoot Wine, and Bridlewood. Additionally, they make the low-end fortified wines Thunderbird and Night Train Express.

On September 14, 2007, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced that it inked a partnership with E & J Gallo Winery to produce a wine brand with the label "Martha Stewart Vintage". 15,000 cases to be sold include: 2006 Sonoma County Chardonnay, 2005 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Sonoma County Merlot (for Atlantamarker, Bostonmarker, Charlotte, North Carolinamarker, Denvermarker, Phoenixmarker, and Portlandmarker, Oregonmarker).


In the vineyard, E & J Gallo Winery took the lead in developing and implementing the Code of Sustainable Wine Growing Practices, in a collaborative effort 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. E & J Gallo Winery also was the first winery in the United States to receive the prestigious ISO 14001 certification from the International Organization for Standardization. The certification was created to assist and guide companies throughout the world to reduce their impacts on the environment.


Through their winery, Ernest and Julio were instrumental in introducing American consumers to wine and creating the modern US wine market. They were among the pioneers of wine advertising on television and launched many memorable wine advertising campaigns. 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. They were also first to establish a truly significant foreign sales and marketing force to export California wines overseas.

Wine brands

A bottle of André
  • André is the best-selling brand of sparkling wine in the United States. It often sells for less than $4 per bottle. It is available in varieties including Brut, Extra Dry, Cold Duck, Blush, and strawberry-flavored California Champagne, among others. André's California Champagne does not use traditional Champagne wine making methods, but is instead 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 (I use the term loosely) that many people cut their teeth on. It is much like ginger ale - pale yellow in color, lemony and on the sweet side, with maybe an apple flavor as well and low bubbles".

  • 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. 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 a favorite on college campuses because it is inexpensive.

Additional brands

  • Alamos
  • Anapamu
  • Ballatore
  • Bartles & Jaymes
  • Cask & Cream
  • Clarendon Hills
  • Dancing Bull
  • DaVinci
  • Don Miguel Gascon
  • E & J Brandy
  • Frutézia

  • Ghost Pines
  • Hornsby's
  • Indigo Hills
  • Liberty Creek
  • Livingston Cellars
  • Marcelina
  • Martĩn Cõdax
  • Maso Canali
  • Mattie's Perch
  • McWilliam's

  • New Amsterdam Gin
  • Peter Vella
  • Pölka Dot
  • Redwood Creek
  • Red Rock Winery
  • Tisdale Vineyards
  • Whitehaven
  • William Hill Estate
  • Wild Vines
  • Wycliff Sparkling


E & J Gallo Winery ranks among the world’s most award-winning wineries and is the only American winery to be named "International Winery of the Year" three times (1996, 1998, and 2001).

See also

Further reading


  1. Our Wines
  2. Champagne & Sparkling Wine Tasting Notes
  3. The Wine Enigma: Wine In A Box
  4. Awards & Accolades

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