October 2018 Update: Anatomy of a Brandy Distillery Germain-Robin
An article describing a visit to Germain Robin, a world class brandy distillery, located in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, can be found elsewhere on this website under the Services section. The Germain Robin brandy operation began it the 1980s and is operated as a craft distillery using the methods Mr. Robin learned growing up in Cognac, France. Germain Robin is a hands-on batch operation whose success was highly dependent on the skill of the master distiller. A picture of the alembic (pot) still is shown to the left, a full description is given on the “Sources” page. The large tank on the right is the condenser where the product is cooled and delivered. The pot still method is not high throughput process which is usually reflected in the cost of the finished product.
The original article ended with the report that the Germain Robin distillery survived the October 2017 Redwood Valley fire in Mendocino County. Most of the fire damages were concentrated on the east side of Highway 101, the main north-south artery. Fortunately for Germain Robin it is located on the west side of the highway so escaped any major damage.
The Sale of Germain Robin to E & J Gallo
The sale of Germain Robin to E & J Gallo of Modesto was noted in the original article posted on this website. A more detailed account of the sale of Germain Robin to Gallo was given in August of 2017 in a Wine Enthusiast article by Virginie Boone. This article noted that “Gallo acquired the brand, its inventory of aged and aging brandies, and other finished goods. Some of the brandies date back three decades and are made from a wide variety of grapes”. One can get a feel for the size of this inventory from the picture of the aging warehouse, above.