When Prohibition ended, Ernest Gallo and his brothers Julio and Joe wanted to corner the young wine market. Earnest wanted the company to become ”the Campbell Soup company of the wine industry” so he started selling Thunderbird in the ghettos around the country. Their radio adds featured a song that sang, ”What’s the word? / Thunderbird / How’s it sold? / Good and cold / What’s the jive? / Bird’s alive / What’s the price? / Thirty twice.” It is said that Ernest once drove through a tough, inner city neighborhood and pulled over when he saw a bum. When Gallo rolled down his window and called out, ”What’s the word?” the immediate answer from the bum was, ”Thunderbird.”
Founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo, E. & J. Gallo Winery remains a family company that offers table and sparkling wine, malt beverage products, dessert wine, and distilled spirits, as well as import wines. E. & J. Gallo Winery is the world's largest family-owned winery and the largest exporter of California wine, with an ever-expanding portfolio of wines that is recognized and enjoyed by consumers around the world.