XO is intensely aromatic, showing the beautiful orange-blossom, anise, and tropical spice perfume of the California style, along with powerful concentrated aromas of rancio, orange zest, and sweet smoky vanilla reminiscent of the European style. Luscious flavors of dried tropical fruit, sweet caramel and toasted brown spice introduce the palate to the warming flavors of rich, mellow, oak. In the mouth, E&J XO exhibits great finesse, being soft and plush with a lingering expression of elegance in the finish.
Our founders, Ernest and Julio Gallo, sold their first brandy under the "Cream of California" label in 1938, following in the footsteps of the Spanish missions who had made brandy in California as far back as the late 18th century.
After Prohibition, a number of California grape harvests were unduly large, prompting producers to distill almost half of their crop into brandy that could be stored in barrels for several years. Thus a prototypical California-style brandy was born, lighter in flavor and mouthfeel than its European counterparts and better for mixing into a range of cocktails.
Decades later, we still make our brandy in a style unique to California, with subtle, enticing flavors and a smooth mouthfeel.