takes more than a truck to get Gallo wines to market.
It takes marketing too, which is Stephanie Gallo's specialty.
business fruitful for Stephanie Gallo '99
having investors to impress makes it easier to switch strategies
quickly if the consumer demands something new, she says. In
fact, in the last 10 years alone, the winery has introduced
more than 30 brands in response to consumer feedback.
background noise doesn't let up. What is that sound?
explains: It's the peacocks.
grandfather [Ernest] loved interesting and eclectic things,"
she says. Years ago, he was raising roosters at his home and
thought a few peacocks would add character to the yard. Gallo
says the colorful birds turned out to be significantly less
tidy than the roosters, and eventually her grandmother banished
them from the grounds. They've lived on the winery campus
the history of the winery — founded by Ernest and brother
Julio during Prohibition — it's no surprise that Gallo's
grandfather had unconventional tastes. "I don't know
how they did it," says Gallo. "They were 23 and
24, respectively. They had no money and no experience in commercial
winemaking." What they did have, she adds, was the strong
work ethic and determination of men who literally could not
afford to fail. They also had a couple of pre-Prohibition
pamphlets containing instructions for how to make wine. It
wasn't much, but it was enough.
says the winery's respect for the natural world was also passed
down from its founders. As the company grew, Julio set aside
an acre of local land for preservation for every acre planted
in the vineyard. The winery also supports sustainable growing
practices in interesting ways. Rather than relying on toxic
chemicals or noise pollution to discourage crows from feasting
on vineyard grapes, the company employs a falconer to keep
the birds in check.
always knew she wanted to be a part of the winery. "Growing
up in a family business, you're exposed to the business from
a very early age," she says, reflecting on childhood
memories of wine at the dinner table and her father and grandfather
asking the younger generation's opinions on wine, packaging
and other business decisions. "I knew as an undergrad
that I wanted to get into marketing because I'd done a couple
of internships at the winery."
college, Gallo secured her first official position at the
winery — in sales. "It's not the most glamorous
job," she says. "You start early. You end late."
Following a few years in the sales trenches, she enrolled
at Kellogg to study marketing.
who spoke at the Kellogg Women's Leadership Workshop in February,
says that women "have played an important role"
in designing the winery's current success, but she hastens
to add that a manager's skill will always trump gender. "At
the end of the day, you have to let the results speak for
themselves," she says. "Results are the great equalizer."
has been a valuable source of talent for the winery. Gallo
says there are more than a dozen Kellogg alumni working at
Kellogg culture and the Gallo culture are very similar,"
she adds, noting that each thrives under the care of smart,
passionate people who work together to rally customers and
co-workers. "It's the culture that really matters."