The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2017

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Page 82 of 133

CRAFT SPIRITS july 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  81 E. & J. GALLO TAKES A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO CALIFORNIA CRAFT BRANDY WITH THE CALIFORNIA BRANDY SUMMIT BY DIANE DENHAM F or decades, Bob Gallo, son of E. & J. Gallo co-founder Julio, had been distill- ing very high-quality brandy and storing it in oak barrels—without a real plan. He amassed decades of stores of premium brandy with no sales program in mind, in large part because he simply loved brandy. But that didn't mean Bob, Co-Chairman of the Gallo Board, just let it lie. Through the years, he regularly talked with family mem- bers, including his nephew Ernest J. Gallo, General Manager of Gallo's Spirits Business Unit. Bob would often ask whether the family was ready to sell a premium craft brandy. Every chance Bob had, he would suggest creating a brand of premium brandy, and he would hear that California, and America, was not ready. Brandy's heyday in California lasted from the mid-1800s until Prohibition put an end to it, but it fell out of fashion about the same time as top hats. Then about two years ago, Bob brought it up again. This time was different. After all those years, Bob heard the answer: "We're ready." FOSTERING A RESURGENCE

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