Fred Franzia, creator of Two Buck Chuck wine, dies at 79

Fred Franzia, the Californian wine magnate known for creating Two Buck Chuck, died on Tuesday 13 September at the age of 79 at his home in Denair (Stanislaus County). Family members confirmed the death but did not indicate the cause.

Franzia has been a lifelong advocate of inexpensive wine and a critic of California’s elite wine culture, often proclaiming that no bottle should cost more than $ 10. She was blunt and brazenly ambitious, building a vast empire of vineyards, plantings manufacturing and bottling facilities throughout California. Eventually, she grew Bronco Wine Co., the company she co-founded in 1973, into one of the 10 largest wineries in the United States, incorporating dozens of brands.

“Who says we have a lower price? We are the best price. The others, I think, are too expensive, “Franzia told The Chronicle in 2009, in a characteristic remark.

Many family budget wines fall under the Bronco umbrella, such as Crane Lake and Red Truck, although the company has largely become synonymous with its most famous brand, Charles Shaw, colloquially known as Two Buck Chuck. He did not own the brand of canned wine that bears his name, Franzia; his parents, also wine producers, sold that company to Coca-Cola in 1973. (Today, the beverage company called the Wine Group owns the Franzia wine brand.)

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