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Two Buck Chuck Chugging along fine

Have you often wondered what happened to the two buck chuck- the Californian wine selling for Under $2? Well, Charles Shaw has completed five years and sold 300 million bottles during this period. Here is a report by MSNBC.

“We’re not out to gouge people,” says Fred Franzia, owner of the company producing the label.. “What I would like to see is every consumer be able to afford to have wine on the table every day and not feel insecure about it.”

Last year, Two Buck Chuck — available only in the Trader Joe’s grocery chain and priced at $1.99 in California, accounted for at least 8 percent of California wine sold in-state, said Jon Fredrikson, who tracks wine shipments.

The result — along with the cute “critter” labels and more user-friendly packaging like boxes and screw caps — has helped knock a little of the starch out of the industry, said the wine industry consultant

Michael Mondavi, founder of Folio Fine Wine Partners, a Napa Valley-based importer and producer of high-end wines, takes the wine-glass-half-full approach to the Franzia effect.
“I think Two Buck Chuck has helped to make people aware that wine is not just for special occasions,” says Mondavi, son of California wine country pioneer Robert Mondavi and a longtime friend of Franzia “I also believe that the vast majority of the people who originally start buying Two Buck Chuck within a period of a year trade up to better wines and enjoy better wines on a more regular basis.”

Making wine is expensive from the ground up, but Franzia owns a lot of ground — 40,000 acres is the common estimate. He won’t say. He also owns the crushing and bottling plants and has its own distribution company.

Until now, another company has supplied the bottles. But Franzia’s latest idea is to fix that by building a glass container plant near his Napa Valley bottling facility in a business park near the Napa County Airport.

For instance: “He says no wine is worth over $10,” says Mondavi, whose family’s wines include the new I’M line that runs from $13 to $20. “I say, ’Yeah, you’re right Fred, unless they’re my wines because I’ve seen you buy them.’

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