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Turning Leaf

One of the many wine brands of the Californian multinational Gallo; see there.

Brothers Ernest (1909-2007) and Julio Gallo (1910-1993) were the sons of Italian immigrants from Piedmont. The father Guiseppe (Joseph) and his younger brother Michael bought wine from small wineries in California in the early 20th century, which they resold. In the early 1920s they bought a small farm near Modesto (Stanislaus County in the Central Valley) and produced grapes which they sold during Prohibition (1920-1933). Due to debt, tragedy struck, Guiseppe shot first his wife and then himself in 1933. The two sons took over the farm and founded the E. & J. Gallo Winery. Julio was the cellar master and Ernest took care of sales. The first winery was built on the site of today's huge factory in Modesto. Initially, bulk wine was produced and sold to bottlers.

It was not until 1937 that wines were produced under their own label and the first own vines were planted in 1940. In addition, grapes were bought. The success story began in 1957 with the "Thunderbird", which was made from white port wine and lemon juice mixed together and distilled to 20% alcohol content with the target group of poor blacks. A quart cost 60 cents at the time. Gallo did aggressive advertising for it, which the company is still known for today. In 1957 alone, 32 million gallons were sold. This wine is still produced today. Other...

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Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

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