Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced today that it has teamed with E. & J. Gallo Winery to launch Alcott Ridge Vineyards, a new global wine brand to be sold at Wal-Mart stores worldwide beginning Oct. 5.

"Alcott Ridge wine exemplifies the high quality of E. & J. Gallo wines for a value that can only be found at Wal-Mart," said John Ryan, senior vice president of Wal-Mart global sourcing. "We are very excited about collaborating with E.& J. Gallo since it provides us the opportunity as a global retailer to work with a truly global wine company. Our customers deserve the selection and value that we are providing."

Added Ryan, "Many of our customers are demanding a greater selection of wine products at prices they can afford. We believe that Alcott Vineyards will help us meet that demand."

Alcott Ridge Vineyards wine, produced in California and sourced from some of California's finest grape growing regions, will be sold in Wal-Mart stores that currently sell wine, SAM'S Clubs outside the United States, and Neighborhood Markets that currently sell wine. Alcott Ridge Vineyards will be available in the four largest varietal types in the premium wine segment -- Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and White Zinfandel -- all offered in the 750-milliliter size.

Alcott Ridge Vineyards also will be sold in Wal-Mart stores in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

Headquartered in Modesto, Calif., E & J Gallo Winery remains a family-owned business where three generations of Gallo family members oversee a global operation that exports its products to 85 countries. No other wine company today makes and markets as broad an array of products as E & J Gallo Winery. Consistently among the top-selling brands in a wide spectrum of categories, the product line includes table wines, sparkling wines, beverage products, dessert wines and distilled spirits.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates more than 2,560 stores and nearly 470 SAM'S Clubs in the United States. Internationally, the company operates more than 1,000 units. Wal-Mart employs more than 885,000 associates in the United States and 255,000 internationally. In 1999, the company raised and donated more than $163 million for charitable organizations.