By Jonna Gallo Weppler
As a toddler Gina strolled the vineyards alongside her grandfather Julio. By age 10, tending grapes was second nature. High school summers happily spent working in the winery led to courses in winemaking, then an apprenticeship at the family's experimental micro-winery in Modesto, California. Today this passionate mother of twin girls is the brains behind limited-batch artisanal wines in the Gallo Signature Series. During the two-month harvest she almost never strays far from the action. "It's like any profession when you're constantly on call," Gina says. "You never know what can change." Of course, relaxing with a glass of wine always helps. Try one of her favorite chill-out recipes.Gina Gallo's Fall Apple and Pear White Wine Sangria
1 bottle fruity white wine (try Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato)
1/2 cup brandy
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apple, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 Bartlett pear, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 can (12 ounces) seltzer
1. In a large pitcher combine wine, brandy, lemon zest and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients, except seltzer and ice cubes, and mix well.
2. Place pitcher in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours to allow flavors to meld.
3. Just before serving, add ice cubes and stir briskly to distribute fruit, then top off with seltzer.
Combining apple and pear with sweet, fruity Moscato makes this refreshing twist on the classic red wine sangria an appealing pick for casual fall gatherings.