Gallo, Ernest

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Gallo, Ernest Gender: M
born on 18 March 1909 at 19:15 (= 7:15 PM )
Place Jackson, California, 38n21, 120w46
Timezone PST h8w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: CAH
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 27°53' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 19°28 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 11°22'


American vintner, entrepreneur and multimillionaire, credited with bringing wine to American tables and putting California on the world’s wine-making map.

In the early 1900s, Gallo's father Giuseppe and uncle Michelo emigrated from Italy to settle in Oakland, CA. To establish themselves in the US they Americanized their names to Joseph and Michael Gallo.

Joseph married Assunta Bianco, nicknamed Susie, in Hanford, CA in 1908. Ernest came along in 1909 and Julio followed a year later. Their younger brother Joe was born in 1920. Ernest and Julio worked like slaves for their tyrannical father, who beat his wife and overworked his older sons but lavished love and affection on the youngest child, Joe. By 1925, Ernest's father owned a Modesto home and a 70-acre plot of land on which they grew grapes. He sent his eldest son, then 17 years old, to accompany a boxcar of the fruit to Chicago where Ernest sold them for a handsome profit. Even then, Ernest was using his natural talents as a salesman, perhaps learned from his Uncle Michael who had a reputation as a con artist. The business had its ups and downs, and the Great Depression hit the family hard. On June 21, 1933 the family drama exploded when his father shot his mother and then committed suicide.

Facing mounds of debt, Ernest became the executor of the Gallo estate at age 24. With a tiny $5900 investment, the familial knowledge of wine-making, and a salesman’s intuition, he partnered with his brother Julio to begin making and selling wine. E. & J. Gallo Winery was born just after the repeal of Prohibition. In the beginning, the brothers concentrated on selling cheap wine with a high amount of alcohol. Ernest was in charge of sales and distribution, and his brother Julio controlled the winemaking operation. Younger brother Joe, age 13 at the time, was made a ward of his two older brothers. Excluded from the partnership, he worked as a hired hand. Ernest and Julio worked hard 18-hour days to get their business off the ground and were noted for their business acumen. Along with respect, Ernest often inspired fear. He developed a reputation for his fierce temper, low tolerance for half-measures, aggressive, often ruthless, business tactics and secretiveness. Family passions again erupted in 1967 when Ernest, by then a strong and powerful businessman, asked his brother Joe to leave the vineyard. Joe became a successful businessman in his own right. But in 1983, when Joe began marketing cheese under the Gallo name, Ernest sued his younger brother in court for trademark infringement. Joseph counter-sued for a piece of the family wine business, but Ernest won the lengthy six-year series of lawsuits. Joe was forced to change his business name to Joseph Farms.

In 1931, Ernest married Amelia Franzia. Their two sons, David, born June 12, 1939, and Joseph, born on March 12, 1941, joined their father in the family business. Just before Christmas, on December 22, 1993, Amelia died. Earlier that year, on May 2nd, Julio had died when a Jeep he was driving fell 35 feet over an embankment.

After Julio’s death, Ernest remained the force behind the scenes but put his son Joseph in charge of sales and his son David in charge of advertising. David died March 2, 1997 of a heart attack. Ernest’s younger brother Joe, still estranged, died at age 87 on February 17, 2007. Just a few weeks later, on March 6, 2007, Ernest too passed away at his home in Modesto, CA. He was 97 and had continued to work in his office until the end. Ernest’s surviving son Joseph is now the CEO of the family business.

The two older Gallo brothers saw their business expand into quality wines and branch out to related products. They had succeeded in whetting American palates for wine and had managed, in the process, to change the way wine had been marketed in the US and abroad. Ernest and Julio together had the distinction of being two of the wealthiest Americans of their era with Ernest’s fortune alone estimated at $1.3 billion at the time of his death. They wielded enough clout with congressmen that they were able to get bills passed that gave them tax advantages. In 1986, Senator Bob Dole helped to pass the "Gallo Amendment" in Congress that allowed Ernest and Julio Gallo to transfer significant sums of money to each of their grandchildren at a lower inheritance tax rate, saving over a million dollars in inheritance taxes. By 2005, still family-owned, the Gallo empire had grown to sales of about $980 million with a net profit of a$44 million.

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  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1910 (Brother Julio born)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1920 (Brother Joe born)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1931 (Amelia)
  • Family trauma 21 June 1933 (Dad shot mom, then committed suicide)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 12 June 1939 (Son David born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 12 March 1941 (Son Joseph born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Family 1967 (Asked brother Joe to leave the vineyards)
  • Crime : Law suit 1986 (Sued his brother)
  • Death of Sibling 2 May 1993 (Julio killed in jeep accident)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Retired 1997 (Sons take over major part of business)
  • Death of Child 2 March 1997 (David died of heart attack)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Sibling 17 February 2007 (Estranged brother Joe)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death, Cause unspecified 6 March 2007 in Modesto (Age 97, in Modesto, CA)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Contemporary American Horoscopes


  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Dad killed mom, then suicide)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Eldest of three)
  • Family : Childhood : Sibling circumstances (Bro. Julio Gallo, worked together)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (One marriage since 1931)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two sons)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids - Noted (Both sons involved in the business)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy (Extremely)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs
  • Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur (Gallo estates)
  • Vocation : Business : Top executive
  • Vocation : Business/Marketing : Product Marketing
  • Vocation : Business/Marketing : Sales
  • Vocation : Food and Beverage : Alcohol business (Vintner)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession