MODESTO — Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, the red-hot label from E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, has blended grapes from four continents for its latest launch.
Impression Red Blend is the 25th product from Barefoot, which Gallo has built into the nation's top- selling brand.
The blend includes grenache from Spain, shiraz from Australia, malbec from Argentina and tempranillo from California.
Impression joins two dozen still and sparkling wines made from California grapes in the Barefoot portfolio.
Barefoot winemaker Jennifer Wall describes the new wine as "a smooth red blend with dark fruit flavors, framed by notes of sweet vanilla and spice."
It has a suggested retail price of $6.99.
Gallo has greatly increased Barefoot sales since its 2005 purchase of the brand, then based in Sonoma County. Annual volume is approaching 15 million cases, a manager said at a business conference in Ceres in March.
The label is using the launch to highlight its Barefoot Soles of the Year, seven activists recognized for various causes. The closest to Modesto are urban tree-planting advocate Kemba Shakur of Oakland and Mono Lake preservationist Sally Gaines.
Industry analyst Jon Fredrikson cited the Barefoot growth, among other things, in naming Gallo his 2012 Winery of the Year at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento. The award, one of the most prestigious in the California industry, was shared by Constellation Brands.
The Impression debut came just as Barefoot received a Hot Brand award for the 10th straight year from Impact magazine, which covers the wine, beer and spirits industries.
"To be recognized with our 10th Hot Brand award is truly an honor, as it highlights the tremendous growth we've achieved in just under a decade," said Stephanie Gallo, vice president of marketing for Gallo, in a news release. "This milestone is a testament to our incredibly talented winemaker, our inventive sales and marketing teams, and the loyal 'foot fans' who have made Barefoot a worldwide phenomenon."