Talking Gallo, Talking American Wine History

Reason Magazine, a bastion of….reason….has released a video interview with Jerome Tuccille, the author of "Gallo Be Thy Name: The Inside Story of How One Family Rose to Dominate the U.S. Wine Market".

It's pretty interesting. I've not read the book, but it sounds as though what we have here is a social history of the rise of American wine and the evolution of American culture told from the perspective of the rise of the Gallo via the Ernest and Julio Gallo.

"Gallo Be Thy Name", is the second book written on the Gallo empire and Gallo brothers. The first, released in 1993, was entitled "Blood and Wine". It had a salacious book cover that placed drips of blood next to a corkscrew and focused on Ernest's use of the legal system to stop his younger brother, Joseph, from using the "Gallo" name on cheese he was producing. This new book appears on the surface to be more of a comprehensive rendering. The author has a history of profiling powerful men, including books on Alan Greenspan, Barry Diller, Donald Trump and the Hunt Family.

The interview in the video above is interesting and well done.

I've had issues with Gallo in the past. Early in the direct wine shipping debate they opposed direct shipment of wine. It was not part of their business plan. Their early opposition did not go unnoticed by policy makers.

On the other hand, if you aren't impressed with the accomplishments of the Gallo Family and their contributions to the world of wine, then you just haven't been watching or understanding the history of the American wine industry.

8 Responses

  1. Wine of Month Club - September 2, 2009

    Amazing to think such a huge winery could oppose direct shipping. You’d think that simply the possibility of huge margins would lead them to support it.

  2. St. Vini - September 2, 2009

    Does his book cover the “gallo law”?
    Google it if you don’t know. A fascinating look at how our political system really works.

  3. Thomas Pellechia - September 2, 2009

    Wine of the Month,
    The company simply doesn’t need to have direct shipping capability, as Gallo has controlled its distribution for years and would benefit if others were prevented from direct shipping.

  4. Dylan - September 3, 2009

    You weren’t kidding about the book cover. He used a highly arresting visual. Thanks for posting the interview. Once they began to speak on the mob murder in the family the cover’s image makes perfect sense. My interest is piqued.

  5. 1WineDude - September 3, 2009

    Yeah, the Gallo Law story is fascinating – and frightening!

  6. Jeff - September 3, 2009

    I just started reading this book. I pre-ordered it. The Amazon book reviews so far are dreadful. I’ll have to see for myself. The actual cover of the book has changed from the cover art shown at Amazon, much less salacious.

  7. Carol - September 3, 2009

    If you worked at Gallo in the early 90s and paid a visit to the Legal Department, you would have seen massive butcher paper spread across the wall with a “tennis ladder” outlining all 535 members of Congress in the US, their party affiliation, term expiration date, and – if memory serves me correctly – last campaign donation. They clearly were on a very focused mission to make sure everything went their way.

  8. Web Design Services UK - September 5, 2009

    The Interview is fine. As I am having much interest in Wines and I wanna read this book of the Gallo Brothers.Thanks for the information.

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