As heiress to the Gallo Empire, Gina Gallo hopped on a plane last year for the Boston Wine Expo 2013 to promote all sips Gallo. The night prior to the BWE, I was fortunate to enjoy a private dinner with Gina at Forum, located on Boylston St. in Boston. What I discovered about Gina is that she’s an open book: down-to-earth, approachable and interesting beyond her fabulous wine stories. And she isn’t tainted by fame and fortune; in fact, she says growing up on a vineyard was much like growing up as a farm girl, and that’s her personality in a nutshell: farm girl meets fine palate.
Here are 7 things you may not know about Gina Gallo, and 3 bottles of Gallo signature wines to sip:
#1 – She has 7 siblings and her brother takes care of the bottling segment of the company.
#2 – She doesn’t have a television set in her Napa, California home, and doesn’t care — with the exception of President Obama’s inauguration. She wanted to watch this coverage, and did so on her laptop computer.
#3 – She enjoys live theater whenever she can steal away from the business and her twin toddlers, and whenever a show is within reach. As she explains the thrill of theater, she spends several minutes amusing herself in trying to recall the name of the show that sent her in stitches – about an Irish Jew – or was it an Irish Italian? She can’t remember, but remembers loving the performance.
#4 – She believes the Portuguese language to be the most beautiful. And although she is married to Frenchman, Jean-Charles Boisset, she doesn’t speak fluent French. With twin daughters who will surely be raised in both languages, she knows learning more French is mandatory.
#5 – She has to work out by noontime, or she won’t. Participating in sports is what keeps her in shape, and she loves waterskiing, swimming and surfing.
#6 – She’s open to several culinary specialties, but she won’t eat gizzards (sorry, Anthony Bourdain!).
#7 – She has never been in a hot air balloon, but once jumped out of a plane on a dare to skydive.
#8 – Gallo Signature Series 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($30) has a bouquet of Burgundy, yet is a California wine crafted by the legendary Gallo family. Flavors of crisp apple, lemon meringue and ginger tease the palate as grapes from Laguna Ranch, Del Rio Vineyard and the Russian River Valley orchestrate this exceptional white wine.
#9 – Gallo Signature Series 2011 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($35) is so tasty on its own. You may be selfish and hoard this bottle to enjoy over the course of a few evenings. I know I did. And I don’t regret a sip. This pinot noir comes from grapes grown on Olson Ranch Vineyard of Santa Lucia Highlands.
#10 – Gallo Signature Series 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) was first served with a filet mignon topped with crabmeat and blue cheese. Hey, for a very special cabernet, you must enjoy a special meal, right? This wine’s flavor profile is of a chocolate milkshake with black cherry and currants, a hint of vanilla. A drop of petit verdot shakes up the taste a bit.
At the Boston Wine Expo 2014: Gallo Signature Series
The Gallo Signature Series honors the journey the Gallo family started in 1933, and it celebrates how far the family has come. With some of California’s best grapes at her fingertips, third-generation winemaker, Gina Gallo, has created three distinct wines that could only be crafted from the Gallo family’s unique combination of vineyards. For Gina, the Gallo Signature Series expresses her family’s passion for great vineyards and great wine, and it reflects the best the Gallo Winery has to offer. The Gallo Signature Series marks a return to hands-on, artisanal winemaking for Gina, and it brings to life the enduring legacy of Ernest and Julio Gallo.