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Wine giant E. & J. Gallo Winery plans East Coast headquarters in Chester County

Public documents show that Gallo is planning to invest $400 million and bring 500 jobs, but Senator Mike Fanning says that's just the beginning.

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — The largest wine producer in the world, California-based E. & J. Gallo Winery is planning to build its east coast headquarters in Chester County, sources confirmed to WCNC Charlotte.  

The family-owned winemaker is planning to build a facility near Highway 21 and Catawba River Road in Fort Lawn.

"The world's largest winery choosing a poor, rural county is gigantic, and located in the teeny tiny town of Fort Lawn," Senator Mike Fanning, who played a key role in attracting Gallo to Chester County, said.

Public documents show that Gallo is planning to invest $400 million and bring 500 jobs, but Fanning says that's just the beginning -- Gallo is planning to stay and grow in Chester County.

"Every step of the process, from the manufacturing to the bottling to the distribution, the warehousing -- all of it will be done here in South Carolina, here in Chester County in little old Fort Lawn," Fanning said.

South Carolina even changed a law to allow for Gallo to have wine tasting rooms. Fanning says for an area that has struggled since textile mills left, this is a game-changer for Chester County and rural communities like it.  

Chester County's close proximity to I-77 and the Charleston Harbor make it a convenient location for moving goods.

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"This is life-changing," Fanning said. "This is going to change our lives for generations."

E. & J. Gallo Winery has been secretive about the facility, with multiple sources telling WCNC that it has instructed Chester County officials not to give interviews to the media until it makes a formal announcement. 

WCNC reached out to E. & J. Gallo Winery and requested an interview, but has not heard back.

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

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