Ernest and Julio Gallo have rarely spoken publicly about their lives — until now. Ernest and Julio: Our Story is the candid and powerful autobiography of two brothers who truly went from rags to riches. Here they tell for the first time of how they learned to make wine by reading pamphlets found in a public library, and of how their winery grew from nothing to become the largest and most successful in the world. Like Henry Ford, the Gallos created an industry where one had never before existed, and their life story reads like a great epic novel. Full of drama and wonderful characters, their memoir is a celebration of life, of brotherhood, of wine and business, of America and its dreams.
The Gallo story is an archetypal American story. The sons of Italian immigrants who came to the United States in the early 1890s, Ernest and Julio came of age in the hardscrabble years of the Great Depression. In the summer of 1933 — three months before the end of Prohibition — they started their winery. They had known little but adversity: family tragedy, financial hardship, and fierce competition. But by dint of unremitting ambition, commitment to quality, and hard work, the brothers slowly but surely built a business that is today responsible for one of every four bottles of wine sold in America.
In the process, Ernest and Julio Gallo developed new methods of production and marketing that have become industry standards. Ernest Gallo, for example, pioneered the concept of shelf positioning of wines, and his sales techniques are legendary. Julio Gallo, for his part, led teams of researchers who continuously developed and improved wine production and quality.
Though rich with memories of more than half a century in the wine industry they helped spawn, Ernest and Julio Gallo shared little of their history with anyone outside their families. Occasionally, in the right mood and perhaps over an enjoyable meal, one or the other would regale an attentive son or grandchild with a colorful tale. Very private people, they had always believed that their wines spoke for themselves. But with this remarkable book, the Gallos have decided to share their lives and their work with the public at large. The result is a feast for the reader. For the brothers reveal themselves possessed of the gifts that made E. & J. Gallo Winery and its products famous across the land: astounding common sense, an inquisitive nature, irrepressible drive. Their story — in their own words — is as compelling as it is inspiring.