'Two Buck Chuck' Wine Aims for Both Quality and Quantity

"Our grape rows are a mile long, some are two miles long. We don't have to turn the tractors around. And we produce grapes here because we've got more sunshine, and we've got water, those are the two key ingredients," he explained to ABC News.

If you're expecting the beautiful stone buildings depicted in the 1980s TV show "Falcon Crest," forget it. Bronco's bottling plant near Modesto, Calif., has a certain oil refinery quality to it.

"It's a moneymaking factory. It's a winery. It's the way the wines are made to keep competitive in the world," Franzia said.

Asked how long his wines typically age, Franzia laughed and said, "Hopefully about 24 hours."

Actually, his grapes go from harvest to table in about 100 days, which is still a quick turnaround.

Franzia laughs at the suggestion that his grapes are "freeway-aged," a reference to their journey up the highway from Bakersfield to Modesto, where they're crushed, stored and fermented in massive, industrial-size stainless steel tanks. The tanks are so wide that each inch of depth produces 6,000 bottles of wine.

Franzia: 'I Don't Make Wine to Put in a Closet. We Sell Wine to Drink.'

But he's only half-joking. Franzia's approach to winemaking is stridently pragmatic and he has little patience for those who believe in the mystique of aging wines in ancient oak barrels or in dark wine cellars.

"I don't sell wine to put in a closet. We sell wine to drink," he said. "When the wine's ready to be bottled, it's bottled ready, there's no aging process that's needed ... the rest is just a myth ... I love the French people that go, 'Well, in 20 years this wine's going to be perfect.' Well, don't waste the money. I don't want to wait 20 years to drink a wine. Nothing's worth it. So drink ours now and enjoy it."

If you're wondering how Franzia can claim his wines are "vinted and bottled in Napa," it's because the bottling plant really is in Napa, even if not all his grapes are grown there. He also buys quite a bit of excess wine from Napa vintners, and occasionally acquires bankrupt labels.

Still, critics claim Franzia plays fast and loose with the Napa name. Not surprisingly, Franzia has a response to these criticisms.

"The wine's been bottled in Napa. It's a California wine. We're very proud of that, so we're not making any claims to it. They can claim everything they want to claim. Whether it's true or not, they let their consumers be the judge," Franzia said.

Despite his unorthodox approach to the craft, winemaking has been in Franzia's blood from birth. It was the family business, started almost 100 years ago by his grandfather, Guiseppe Franzia.

"We just have it in our DNA and we choose to grow grapes, be in the business and sell wine at prices that people can afford to drink wine every day at the table, that's what we're looking for," he said.

Franzia grew up working in the family business, but was shut out -- and lost the rights to use the family name -- when his father's generation sold the company to Coca-Cola in the 1970s. That's when Franzia, his older brother Joe, and cousin John struck out on their own and founded their company, "Bronco."

Two Buck Chuck: 500 Million Bottles and Counting

Why didn't they just take the money and run after the family sold the business?

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