Ansley Coale is the founder of Craft Distillers and co-founder the Germain-Robin distillery. He led a group of Eat Retreats through the distillation process and a tasting of awarding winning brandy. Laura del Campo shares a few words about her experience accompanied by photos from Leslie Sophia Lindell.
We stood in awe of a hand-hammered, hand-operated copper still, which was shipped from Cognac, France to Ukiah, California in 1982. The still’s fantastical form seemed plucked directly from the world of Dr. Seuss. Its larger-than-life presence gave nod to the elaborate lengths people are willing to sustain in order to produce something beautiful. Ansley Coale led us to the giant well-lit cavern with row upon row of limousin oak barrels stacked to the ceiling. We imbibed Ansley’s encyclopedic knowledge of brandy distillation, while enjoying tastes of Germain- Robin’s wares. Each brandy unique, made from local fruits, and reflective of the season from whence it came.