‘Two Buck Chuck’ Creator Fred Franzia Dies at 79: NPR

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Fred Franzia, the man behind Charles Shaw brand wine, also affectionately known as “Two Buck Chuck”, brought affordable wine to the masses.

Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image


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Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image


Fred Franzia, the man behind Charles Shaw brand wine, also affectionately known as “Two Buck Chuck”, brought affordable wine to the masses.

Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Fred Franzia, the man behind the famous “Two Buck Chuck”, died Tuesday at the age of 79.

The Franzia family and the Bronco Wine Company announced Franzia’s death on Instagram. Franzia founded the company with one of her brothers and a cousin in 1973. The trio aimed to create “high quality wines at an affordable price for wine consumers”.

“Central to his vision was the belief that wine should be enjoyed and consumed on every American table,” the company said. “When asked how Bronco Wine Company could sell wine for less than a bottle of water, Fred T. Franzia replied, ‘They overcharge for water, don’t you understand?'”

The California winemaker has said countless times in his career that a person shouldn’t have to pay more than $10 for a bottle of wine. The thought, while appealing to many, was just as painful for many people who indulge in more expensive wines.

Still, Franzia has done well to bring affordable wine to the masses through its plethora of brands and savvy business tactics of buying and selling bulk wine at opportune times, as detailed by the new yorker. None of them are probably more famous than the Charles Shaw brand which is sold exclusively in Trader Joe’s grocery stores. For years, consumers could grab a bottle or two for just $1.99 each.

The price has gone up a bit, but “Two Buck Chuck” is still on hand for those who appreciate affordability.

It also competes with more expensive wines and comes out on top. In 2004, the 2002 Charles Shaw Shiraz won a prestigious double gold medal at the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition among 2,300 other wines.

Carol Emert, a wine columnist at the time, told NPR she was not surprised by the performance of the Charles Shaw brand.

“Charles Shaw’s flavor profile tends to be very fruity, very likeable, very approachable,” Emert said. morning edition. “It has a surprising amount of tannin and other kinds of complexity, which is why people are so impressed that they can get it for $2. It doesn’t taste like wine. simple and cheap syrup.”

Although Franzia was very successful with inexpensive wines, he was not involved in the business of the popular Franzia boxed wine. As Wine Spectator reports, the Franzia brand was once owned by the same family, but was sold to Coca-Cola before Fred founded Bronco Wine Company alongside his brother and cousin. The decision to sell the business did not sit well with Franzia.

“My dad, he wasn’t a fighter,” he said the new yorker in 2009.“He just went to bed. And he and I went through a period of no communication.”

Although the family’s original brand was sold, Franzia made it a point to retain family ownership of Bronco Wine Company even as it went through vertical integration – or bring back all aspects of its internal operations.

“His entrepreneurial spirit, tireless dedication and commitment to his family and the Bronco family will be forever remembered,” the company said. “His legacy will live on for generations to come.”



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