RIP Fred Franzia

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Bob Juch
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RIP Fred Franzia

#1 Post by Bob Juch » Wed Sep 14, 2022 6:53 am

The California Winemaker Who Created Two Buck Chuck Has Died

Fred Franzia, the California winemaker who created the Trader Joe's wine popularly known as Two Buck Chuck, died on Tuesday. He was 79.

Franzia's death was announced by the Bronco Wine Company, the vintner he founded with his brother, Joseph, and cousin John in 1973. In an Instagram post, the company said Franzia believed in creating high-quality wines at an affordable cost to consumers. The company's Charles Shaw wines famously sell for just $1.99 a bottle.

Franzia died at his home in Denair, California. A cause of death was not provided.

"His entrepreneurial spirit, tireless dedication, and his commitment to both his family and to the Bronco family will forever be remembered," the company said.

Though Bronco produces more than 100 brands of wines, according to its website, the company is best known for its cheap bottles of Charles Shaw. Franzia bought the brand in the 1990s after its founder, Charles Shaw, filed for bankruptcy. According to the New Yorker, Franzia got the idea to sell the wine for just two bucks a bottle in 2002, when he was forced to sell wine for 50 cents a gallon because of a surplus. Though the wine has had critics over the years, more than 800 million bottles were sold in its first 12 years on the grocery chain's shelves, according to CNBC.

"Who says we're lower priced? We're the best price," Fred Franzia said in 2009. "The others, I think, are overpriced."
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