The history of Thunderbird is as interesting as the drunken effects the one experiences from the wine. When Prohibition ended, Ernest Gallo and his brothers Julio and Joe wanted to corner the young wine market. Earnest wanted the company to become ”the Campbell Soup company of the wine industry” so he started selling Thunderbird in the ghettos around the country. Their radio adds featured a song that sang, ”What’s the word? / Thunderbird / How’s it sold? / Good and cold / What’s the jive? / Bird’s alive / What’s the price? / Thirty twice.” It is said that Ernest once drove through a tough, inner city neighborhood and pulled over when he saw a bum. When Gallo rolled down his window and called out, ”What’s the word?” the immediate answer from the bum was, ”Thunderbird.”
|Since brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo began to turn their dream into reality over 75 years ago, the roots of the Gallo family tree have extended deep into the Winery. Today their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren work in the Winery, carrying on the family tradition and values – a strong work ethic, a drive for perfection and a focus on quality.
The Gallo family still believes family ownership is the most effective way for the Winery to continue as a world leader in the wine industry.
Today, E. & J. Gallo Winery is the world’s largest family-owned winery and the largest exporter of California wine.