Vail Wine University: American wine dream goes global |

Vail Wine University: American wine dream goes global

Vail Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyKevin Furtado, Larkspur's wine director, teaches Wine University every Thursday evening in Vail, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – It’s a remarkable success story -brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo were Italian immigrants who settled in Modesto, Calif., during the beginning of the 20th century. On Sept. 22, 1933 they founded a winery and produced 177,847 gallons of wine in the first year. They never looked back and today the company, known as E. & J. Gallo Winery, is the largest family-owned winery in the world. Sixteen family members spanning three generations of the Gallo family actively work at the Winery. Join Kevin Furtado’s Wine University at Larkspur restaurant in Vail, Thursday, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to learn the fascinating history of this American dream. Furtado and Michael Heintz, Gallo’s director of marketing, will share the story of how the two brothers built the company from humble beginnings. The family celebrated the company’s 75th anniversary in 2008. E. & J. Gallo currently owns seven wineries and more than 15,000 acres of vineyards across the state of California. In addition, the company maintains contracts with growers around the state.Back in the late 1930s, the Gallo brothers took a firm stand to honor the environment, developing their “50/50 Give Back” program. For every acre the winery planted in its coastal vineyards, it would set aside one acre of property to help protect and enhance wildlife habitat. E. & J. Gallo Winery has also developied and refinied environmentally friendly practices such as minimizing the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides, recycling and reusing processed water, creating new wetlands and protecting rivers and creeks. “Everyone in this country can relate to the E. & J. Gallo story. It is an American dream come true and those who attend this week’s class will never think of E. & J. Gallo the same way again,” Furtado said. “All of the wines we will taste at Thursday’s class will have scored 90 points or more in major trade publications.” The cost of the class is $40 per person. For reservations, call 970-754-8050.For details on the entire Wine University syllabus, please visit:

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