How big is that vineyard? Franzia/Bronco edition

bronco vineyard Two Buck Chuck turns ten this year.

We were reminded that Fred Franzia’s Bronco Wine Co. owns 40,000 acres of vines in the San Joaquin Valley, debt-free, which helps keep the wine price so low.

How big is a 40,000 acre vineyard? It’s about 50 times the size of Central Park, and, in fact, about three times the land area of Manhattan. So it must suck if you forget something at one end since there’s not even a subway in the Bronco vineyard.

“Evaluating the taste and cost of “Two-Buck Chuck”‘ [KALW.org]
“3 charged in pregnant farm worker’s death” [AP]
“Drink up: The rise of really cheap wine” [NewYorker.com]

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6 Responses to “How big is that vineyard? Franzia/Bronco edition”


  1. those forty-thousand acres also help to keep the water availability in the san juaquin valley low


  2. Gabe,

    That is a fatuous comment. If those 40K acres were not planted to grapes they would be planted to something else, probably using MORE water than wine grapes require.

    OR, if those 40K acres were planted with houses, the water use would be 10x what it is now.

    I suppose you’d like to see the land laying fallow, doing nothing? Ain’t gonna happen. You might find 40K acres unused in remote regions of northern California, but not in the Central Valley. So, wine grape growing is probably the best use of the land (with a minimal use of water relative to other uses that land might be put to).


  3. That’s more acres than the entire planted area in Alsace…


  4. flashman, saying that the giant waste of resources devoted to franzia would only be wasted on something else is a terrible justification.
    it’s kind of like saying that if there were fewer people in jail, it would only increase unemployment.
    in the willamette valley, there are wineries making wine without a drip of irrigation. let’s stop wasting precious resource on crap wine, then we can see what those resources are devoted too instead. your speculation is not justification for wasting resources


  5. Size matters in this case to be sure and smaller is not always better. I think we all have to admit, there are much worse wines being made for $5 than $2 Chuck….right?

    Gabe-I don’t think you can realistically make the argument that those 40k acres wouldn’t be replicated by someone else in the same general area.


  6. It’s also a reminder that 2-buck upchuck, or 2-buck chuckwagon if you prefer, still sucks.
    I’ve had plenty of bad wine over the years, but nothing compares with the consistently disgusting “wine” being sold as 2-buck chuck.
    In fact, I would readily argue that it does the wine world (of consumers) a disadvantage by suggesting to them that wine can be that terrible. Entry-level consumers would be better off drinking purple-saurus rex kool-aid and spiking it with vodka or everclear.
    Peace


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