Gina Gallo

31 October, 2008

The granddaughter of Julio Gallo,

who founded the eponymous winery

and brand with his brother Ernest,

Gina Gallo is a winemaker with a calling.

She still sees the giant company behind the second biggest brand in the UK off-trade as very much a family concern .

"I always knew I wanted to be in the family business, I felt it from an early age," she says. "When I knew I really wanted to make wine, my grandfather Julio said : 'If it's true then come and learn from our vineyards and from the boys', because all of the winemakers were men.

"I only had three years to work with my grandfather before he passed away and to me that experience was priceless. I had a good three years to see how he interacted with the winemakers, how he challenged them, how he inspired them, how he was a true family unit and how they worked together. The winemakers and growers would go to the end of the earth for him."

Although she enjoys the marketing side, Gallo is happy to leave running the business up to her cousin Joe, who is the winery's chief executive.

"I love doing this, but I would never be able to survive doing it full-time," she says. "I am much more at home in the vineyards and winery, creating and blending and working with different winemakers and growers - I love being hands-on."

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