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Jan 5, 2004 04:20 PM

Anyone know what happened to RMS Distillery (formerly Carneros Alambic)?

  • c

I was cruising through the Carneros area of Napa and wanted to stop in at RMS Distillery to pick up some brandy, but when I called to check on their hours, there was no listing in information and the one phone number I had from a couple years ago was disconnected. I then checked on BevMo's site to see if I could order it and there was no listing. The last place I checked was Piedmont Grocery and they indicated that it was no longer available. I can't believe that after all this time, they've finally thrown in the towel. Remy-Martin and Scharfenberger put in an enormous amount of rescources into the facility and product, as anyone who's ever visted will attest.

Anyone who can shed some light on this mystery, please chime in.


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  1. Here's an article with details. The owners apparently decided to quit making brandy and sold the distillery to Beringer Blass, who are going to turn the facility into a winery for their Etude brand.


    3 Replies
    1. re: nja

      Thanks for the heads up. It's a shame to see them go, but I found out that a new distillery opened up in Petaluma right by Sonoma Portworks called Sweetwater Distillery. They're going to be making some brandies as well as vodka and gin. I guess that Germain-Robin (and the brandy they make for Jepson) will be my default local spirits.

      1. re: Curtis

        You should also check out St. George Spirits ( in Alameda and Anchor ( in San Francisco.

        They are making some wonderful distilled spirits.

        1. re: Curtis

          I would also highly recommend checking out Osocalis Distillery based up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They've just released their first brandy (only 7 yrs old), and it's fabulous.


      2. Evidently Rémy Cointreau threw in the towel (I believe they'd bought out Schramsberg's interest a while back). They were losing big money in the late '90s, and decided to sell off what they considered to be non-core properties. It breaks my heart that I didn't find out they were closing until after the fact, and so missed out on the chance to buy a couple of cases of Pear de Pear....

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. This morning while trying to decide what to serve for Thanksgiving I came across a bottle of Caneros Alambic XR. I'm sure I've had this since the early 90s at the latest if not the late 80s. I don't believe Brandy goes bad for the most part but before I open it I'm hoping someone can tell me if it's actually worth holding or opening. Research this morning came up with you folks possibly being the best resource. Any information you wish to share would be greatly appreicated. Thank you in advance.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Pfeilm

              Brandy does not go bad but nor will it have aged now that it is out of its barrels and in its bottle.

              It should be magnificent. Please report back (and if you need an extra for Thanksgiving, let me know!)

              1. re: CarrieWas218

                Lovely! Since it also doesn't age then I'll assume it's value is the same as when I purchased it, whenever and whatever that may have been! Next question, how long is reasonable for an open bottle of Brandy. There's another Caneros Alambic Folle that was opened not terribly long ago. Curious as to whether Brandy should be stored as wine once opened or otherwise and for how long.

                For now, thank you CarrieWas218... if you're on the east coast come on over for Turkey Day... we'll set another plate!

                1. re: Pfeilm

                  Unlike wine, an open bottle of Brandy will be fine for an extended period of time. You should notice no difference in flavor or alcohol potency in your brandy.

                  Many people put brandy in fancy decanters and keep them there for months (or years!), only pouring from them occasionally. You can't do that with wine which would definitely turn in a day or so.

                  I currently have an open bottle of 1969 Armagnac which has been open for two years.

                  1. re: CarrieWas218

                    Excellent! Thank you. So... when you arrive for Thanksgiving... feel free to bring along your 1969 Armagnac. Since it doesn't age there seems no reason not to drink it! Lovely! Thank you again.

            2. Charbay in Ukiah is hands down the best brandy distillery in CA. 13th generation master distiller Marko Karakasevic has an unrivaled pedigree and the 83 and 89 brandies are some of the best I've ever tasted. Germain-Robin is also incredibly good, as is Osocalis, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better and/or more carefully crafted and authentic spirit.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jspjr42

                Welcome to Chowhound.

                Just a slight correction: Domaine Charbay is in St. Helena, not Ukiah. Germain-Robin is in Ukiah.