Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Gallo, based in Modesto, california, the largest winemaking operation in the world. Gallo was developed by the brothers Ernest (1909–2007) and Julio (1910–93) from the vineyards of their father, who shipped grapes for home winemaking during prohibition. On the eve of Repeal in 1933, the brothers obtained a licence to manufacture and store wine, and on the demise of Prohibition at the end of that year began the rapid expansion of their business. The received story is that they had only a couple of pamphlets published before Prohibition to guide their first winemaking efforts, but their father and uncle had been associated with the wine business before Prohibition, and winemaking in some form went on in the central valley, where the Gallos lived and grew grapes, throughout Prohibition. They perhaps knew more than a good story later would allow for.