No Presidential Pardon For Two Buck Chuck Owner

A Whole Lotta Two Buck ChuckFred T. Franzia (65), cousin of the California wine legend Ernest Gallo and owner of the fourth largest U.S. wine company Bronco Wine Co., gets no presidential pardon from George W. Bush. This reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Franzia was in 1993 sentenced to a five year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 500,000 dollars for wine fraud. Bronco Wine Co. sold cheap wine as more expensive Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Franzia would like to see his criminal conviction disappear from his record. Bronco Wine Co. produces inexpensive wines under various brand names. The best known is Charles Shaw, in the U.S. commonly known as “Two Buck Chuck.” A bottle of Charles Shaw costs only 2 dollars in the American supermarket chain Traders Joe. Bronco Wine Co. came under fire again in May of last year. The 17-year-old pregnant immigrant Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez died of a sun stroke while pruning the vines in a vineyard owned by Bronco Wine Co. According to witnesses winery supervisors only helped the collapsed young woman after she was unconscious for five minutes. The workers have to work ten hours per day in the blazing sun and get only one water break per day. Protests by the United Farm Workers Union so far have failed to ameliorate the situation of the workers.