John Franzia dies at 84

The esteemed winemaker leaves behind a family legacy with the Bronco Wine Co.

Winemaker John Franzia has passed away at the age of 84. 

His company, Bronco Wines Co., announced that Franzia passed away on March 25. 


In memoriam: Franzia founded Bronco Wine Co. with his cousins, Fred and Joseph Franzia, in 1973 after the Franzia family sold the family business to Coca-Cola. 

  • He was instrumental in making Bronco Wine Co. the largest privately held vineyard in the country. 
  • Bronco Wine Co. has hundreds of brands of wine, including “two buck chuck” sold at Trader Joe’s. 
  • Bronco Wine Co. describes Franzia as passionate for all things outdoors, particularly fly fishing, and as someone who shaped the wine industry’s standards with an enduring legacy to inspire future generations. 
  • Franzia is survived by his wife Mary Lynne; children Carol, Michael, Paul and Brian; nine grandchildren and sisters Barbara and Norma. 
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