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E & J Gallo Winery acquires brandy maker Germain-Robin

DBR Staff Writer Published 17 August 2017

E & J Gallo Winery has acquired California's first luxury brandy, Germain-Robin.

Financial details about the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Germain-Robin was established in 1982 by Ansley J. Coale Jr. and Hubert Germain-Robin of the Jules Robin family. The family has been in the business of producing Cognac since 1782.

The craft distillery was started in 1982. It produces cognac from wine grapes found in California, which claimed to have resulted in a fine cognac.

Ansley Coale and Hubert Germain-Robin are credited to be pioneers of developing acclaimed California brandies, along with blending Cognac traditions and techniques with California winemaking and grape varieties.

E & J Gallo’s acquisition of Germain-Robin includes the brand, the inventory of the aged and aging brandies and all of the firm’s finished goods.

Germain-Robin’s inventory includes brandies which have been crafted using a wide range of traditional Cognac and Armagnac grape varieties along with non-traditional varieties such as Pinot Noir and Zinfandel and these are more than 30 years old.

Gallo's Spirits Business general manager Ernest Gallo said: "It is a privilege to be entrusted with the stewardship of Germain-Robin's California brandy legacy. We are fortunate to have Ansley Coale and Joseph Corley, Hubert's apprentice and current Germain-Robin distiller and cellarmaster, remain involved as part of the acquisition. 

“We are pleased to continue delivering remarkable and unique California brandies that will appeal to whiskey and bourbon drinkers and other connoisseurs of brown spirits around the world."                       

Germain-Robin founder Ansley Coale said: "For decades, Germain-Robin has struggled to place brandy distilled from California wine where it belongs: a category, long overlooked, in fact worthy of inclusion at all levels among the world's finest spirits."

"We hope — indeed intend — that our unique knowledge and capabilities, supported and augmented by, and carefully integrated into, Gallo's deep experience and powerful resources in both production and marketing, will help bring brandy from California wine the recognition it so richly deserves."

Image: Craft distiller Germain-Robin acquired by E & J Gallo Winery. Photo: Courtesy of Germain-Robin/craft distillers.