50 years ago Ernest & Julio Gallo's Hearty Burgundy debuted. And though from the northern tip of the Côte de Nuits down to the southern reaches of the Macon, producers (and wine lovers) rail against this appropriation of "Burgundy" to describe a non-Burgundian wine, its place in American wine history cannot be denied. Fred Tasker writes about this "iconic" wine that was "...arguably the beverage that turned on the average American to wine."
Stephanie Gallo, Ernest's granddaughter and Gallo Vice President of Marketing, revealed regarding Hearty Burgundy, "This was Ernest's favorite wine - the one he was proudest of."
If you would like to celebrate Hearty Burgundy's 50th anniversary, you're in luck as Gallo has released a commemorative version. It's a bit more costly than the regular wine but still extremely affordable at $9 for a 1.5L bottle. So what grapes are in Hearty Burgundy, anyway? The special bottling is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, and Alicante Bouschet. The winemakers who created the original 1964 blend were consulted to make sure this blend, though not same as the inaugural bottling, kept "true to its spirit".
So though you may now prefer your Burgundy to be a hearty Gevrey-Chambertin, did the genesis of your wine drinking involve Gallo Hearty Burgundy?