The vintner is best known for producing the popular Charles Shaw wines sold at Trader Joe’s. Dubbed “Two Buck Chuck,” the table wine was introduced for around $2 a bottle. These days, a bottle will set you back a whopping $2.99.
You might wonder how Franzia can sell wine so cheap and have the means to purchase a fancy desert home. One word: volume.
The Bronco operation, founded in the 1970s, is massive. Rather than grow grapes in pricey Napa, the company operates vineyards totaling 40,000 acres in the less glamorous Central Valley. Bronco produces about 20 million cases of wine a year under 35 labels.
The economies of scale allow savings, which are passed on to the consumer. Unlike higher-priced reds, there’s no aging process involved. The mass marketed bottles go from vine to bottle in about 100 days. The Bronco wines have been dubbed “freeway aged,” as the grapes are driven from Bakersfield to Modesto, where they’re placed in fermentation tanks.
”I don’t sell wine to put in a closet. We sell wine to drink,” Franzia told ABC News.
Franzia must have determined the time was right to sell the home, which he purchased for $1 million in 2004.
Built in 1996, the home is part of the gated community of Monte Sereno Estates, which greets visitors with waterfalls cascading down the mountainside.
The “one-of-a-kind” estate measures over 5,300 square feet and has four beds and 4.5 baths.
Features include an elevated living room with stacked-stone fireplace, vaulted ceiling, and French doors that open to a balcony. A chef’s kitchen opens to the family room, which has a fireplace, built-in entertainment center, and bar. There’s also a formal dining room with a built-in buffet.
The master suite comes with its own balcony and Jacuzzi. One feature this house doesn’t seem to have? A wine cellar.
Outdoors, you’ll find a pool plus a barbecue with cook center and serving bar, placed amid “immaculate” desert landscaping with mountain views.
Best of all? It’s less than a mile to the nearest Trader Joe’s, in case you’re running low on cheap vino.