California Brandy House brings the state’s native spirit to Napa


California’s brandy history dates to the Spanish missions and their vineyards, which would one day pave the way for winegrowing in regions like the Napa Valley.

Now, E. & J. Gallo’s California Brandy House, which opened in November in Napa’s First Street Complex, offers tastings and bottle purchases of premium California brandies, Argonaut and Germain-Robin.

“California brandy is California’s native spirit made from California grapes, and we could think of no better locale than this premiere grape-growing region,” said Britt West, vice president and general manager of Gallo Spirits. “Napa Valley receives 3.85 million visitors per year and there’s a real renaissance in downtown Napa, with a thriving hub of restaurants, hotels and shopping, especially along First Street. We are excited to offer visitors something new to explore.”

California Brandy House has three tasting flights of two brands: Argonaut ($15), Germain-Robin ($20), or a combination of both ($15).

For those new to brandy, the latter gives one an overview of the two brands’ varied brandy styles, production methods, and grape varieties. It includes three Argonaut and two Germain-Robin brandies.

West said, “We consider Argonaut and Germain-Robin to be a geographically differentiated subset of American Brandy, incorporating old-world brandy making practices while employing innovations like varietal selection, still type, and aging vessels to optimize for quality. A key differentiator is the use of California’s world-renown wine grapes as its base ingredients.”

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