HomeNewsFred Franzia, the mastermind behind Two-Buck Chuck wine, dies at 79

Fred Franzia, the mastermind behind Two-Buck Chuck wine, dies at 79

Fred

Fred Franzia was known to say it often: No bottle of wine should cost more than $10. And for nearly two decades, he offered it for much, much less.

No, not the Capri Sun-like Franzia wine that comes in a plastic bladder inside a box. Fred Franzia was the mastermind behind the label Charles Shaw — best known as Two-Buck Chuck — that once sold for $1.99 per bottle and took dinner tables across the country by storm.

“Who says we’re lower priced? We’re the best price,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009. “The others, I think, are overpriced.”

On Tuesday, Mr Franzia died at his home in Denair, Calif., leaving behind one of the largest wine operations in the United States — and a legacy of pioneering one of the most ubiquitous cheap wines. He was 79, Mr Franzia’s Bronco Wine Company wrote in an announcement without specifying the cause of his death.

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Fred Franzia was born on May 24, 1943, and grew up in California’s Central Valley, working at his family’s Franzia Brothers Winery, the Turlock Journal reported. As the vineyard expanded, it was eventually purchased by Coca-Cola, and the Franzia name is now emblazoned on — and synonymous with — boxes of cheap wine. Coca-Cola eventually sold the Franzia brand. Mr Franzia’s uncle started another major California winemaker: E. & J. Gallo Winery.

Mr Franzia attended Santa Clara University and eventually started Bronco with his brothers, the Journal reported. One of his strategies was to buy bankrupt labels. Mr Franzia told CNN Money in 2007: “We buy wineries from guys from Stanford who go bankrupt.” (Shaw studied at Stanford.) Bronco also bought trademarks of wines that could advertise as being produced in Napa Valley while being made in the Central Valley — thanks to a state loophole that was later changed over Mr Franzia’s resistance, the New Yorker reported.

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And Mr Franzia’s business practices sometimes went to extremes. In 1994, he was forced to step down as the head of his company for five years and personally pay a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to fraud charges, the New Yorker reported. Mr Franzia had misrepresented the quality of grapes in about a million gallons of wine, having employees scatter zinfandel leaves over cheaper grapes, which he allegedly called “blessing of the loads,” according to the New Yorker.

Despite the controversies, he developed a reputation as a “maverick” in the industry.

“His entrepreneurial spirit, tireless dedication, and his commitment to both his family and to the Bronco family will forever be remembered,” his company wrote Tuesday. “His legacy will endure for generations to come.”

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Source: Ghanafuo.com

Cecelia Chintoh
Cecelia Chintohhttps://ghanafuo.com/ceceliachintoh
Editor at Ghanafuo.com! Cecelia Chintoh is the name I respond to. I am self-motivated and an editor at Ghanafuo.com. I have found interest in writing articles like entertainment news, sports, Wikipedia, biography, obituary, News, lifestyle and many more around the world. Follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn @Cecelia Chintoh.

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