Ernest Gallo, co-founder of E.&J. Gallo Winery, died yesterday at the age of 97. Why is this on a book blog? Because of the legend that surrounds the founding of the winery. The New York Times obituary relates the story.
"According to the legend, the two brothers, virtually penniless farm boys from the Central Valley of California, scraped together $5,900 and started their winery in a rented shed in Modesto. It was 1933 and repeal of Prohibition was weeks away. Ernest was 24, Julio 23; the two knew nothing about winemaking, according to the story, and relied on a pamphlet from the Modesto Public Library to explain their trade."
Even if this is a legend, librarians everywhere will appreciate the story. I just hope Ernest Gallo left a little something to the Modesto Public Library.