The first serious craft distillery since Prohibition. In 1982, Ansley Coale and Hubert Germain-Robin brought an antique hand-operated cognac still to Coale’s ranch in Mendocino County, built a modest distillery, and began to hand-distill wines vinified from premium Mendocino County wine grapes, far superior to the grapes used to make cognac. Their creation was frequently reviewed as one of the world’s finest spirits.
In 2017, Germain-Robin was purchased by E & J Gallo Winery as part of Gallo’s large-scale project to bring premium California brandy into the world market. All aging brandy was moved in their barrels to Gallo’s cellars in Modesto. Gallo hired Hubert Germain-Robin to prepare their releases.