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Ernest Gallo and brother Julio founded E. & J. Gallo Winery and built an empire by shaping American drinking tastes with inexpensive, non-vintage wines.
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Ernest Gallo was born in Jackson, California, on March 18, 1909. In 1933, he and his brother, Julio, founded E. & J. Gallo Winery. With Ernest handling the marketing and Julio serving as the winemaker, the two introduced 16 brands of wine and cornered more than 25 percent of the American market. The company, which owned nearly half of the vineyard acreage in California, had annual revenues of about $1 billion. Gallo died on March 6, 2007—less than a month after Julio—at the age of 97, in Modesto, California.
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