Two Buck Chuck Creator: An Articulate Guy
It’s hard to get a handle on Fred Franzia, CEO of Bronco Wine Company and producer of Two Buck Chuck, among other wine brands. Reading about his life and attitudes and beliefs in the latest issue of INC, you get the impression this is a man who will pull no punches and go after the things he wants in a fairly direct fashion. Among the brands owned by Bronco Wine Company are: ForestVille, Estrella, Charles Shaw, Montpellier, Grand Cru, Silver
Ridge, Rutherford Vintners, Hacienda, FoxHollow, and Napa Ridge.
The problem is that Franzia doesn’t exactly engender love and respect from others in the wine industry. It’s surely his tendency to say EXACTLY what’s on his mind that results in this unappreciative response. But let’s let Fred tell you himself.
They are "a bunch of whiners"
Fred on Napa Valley Vintners
"Why complicate it? Does anyone complicate Cheerios by saying the wheat has to be grown on the side of a mountain and the terroir in North Dakota is better than Kansas and all this horseshit?"
Fred, on the idea of appellation
Fred on excessive retail mark ups.
"They rape the consumer"
Fred on Restaurants’ wine mark ups
"They’re expertise is talking about themselves and saying they are experts."
Fred on the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker
"I don’t socialize anywhere. There’s no money to be made in socializing"
Fred on getting out.
"I defy anyone that charges more money (than he does for his wines) to let me conduct a blind tasting. He’ll look like a fool with his own wine."
Fred on the quality of his cheap wines.
"They tattooed me, so fine. Do I look like I’m worried about it? Does it look like it’s killed our company?"
Fred on having to pay a $2.5 million fine after being convicted of conspiracy to defraud for representing cheap grapes as more expensive grapes.
"They don’t impress me one bit."
Fred on Napa Valley winemakers.
"They try to create a myth to keep the consumer from buying other people’s wines."
Fred on Napa Valley’s objection to the use of the term "Napa" on wines that have little Napa fruit.
"These fucking guys have no mind-games capability. Guys like that are no challenge to me."
Fred on losing a court battle with Napa Valley over the use of the word "Napa" on a bottle with little or no Napa Fruit, then responding with the release of "Four-Buck Chuck" made with Napa fruit.
Fred Franzia is clearly a smart guy. He clearly is giving many of the consumers out there what they want. And, he’s clearly successful. More important, he sure does make for good copy.