Immediately upon entering the grounds, I could feel the deep historical significance of this property as well as Francis Ford Coppola's love for art, music, history, wine and family.
. As you walk in you will be greeted by a regal wooden staircase with a stained-glass window at the top with the Neibaum -Coppola logo. There is a museum as well that showcases Francis Ford Coppola's collection of film memorabilia, early film equipment, etc. - all fascinating especially if you love movies. Then you will have the choice wether to follow a very informative and interactiv tour which ends with a tasting in the private "reserve" room or to sit outdoor under a canopy of trees sipping a glass of one of the property's wine.
One of the best parts of the tour is learning of the compelling story of how Mr. Coppola has worked to restore the property as well as the Inglenook name as one of the world's finest wines. So let me give you a brief summary of the property's history:
Inglenook was the historic name of one of Napa Valley’s pioneering wineries. It was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, and produced some of the greatest cabernet sauvignons in Napa history, particularly in the mid-20th century under John Daniel Jr., a grand-nephew of Niebaum. Mr. Daniel died in 1971, and eventually the winery, vineyards and Inglenook brand were sold off.
Mr. Coppola, the movie director, purchased the old Niebaum home and part of the original Inglenook vineyard in 1975. Since then, he has been trying to reconstitute the original estate. In 1995, he bought the old Inglenook winery and the remaining Inglenook vineyard, but the brand name eluded him.
In 2006, Coppola changed the property's name to Rubicon Estate, but he had begun to question the trajectory of his grand effort. In the fields, he saw old vines ripped out for replanting, mostly to increase yields.
With his acquisition of the Inglenook name from the Wine Group in 2011, Mr. Coppola has succeeded in restoring the original Inglenook estate.
In order to return Inglenook to the top echelon of Napa wines, Mr. Coppola decided to hire Philippe Bascaules as estate manager and winemaker at Inglenook. He had been working at Château Margaux, one of the five Bordeaux first growths, for the previous 21 years.
More than just a place to taste wines, Inglenook winery is an invitation to embark on a journey through the fascinating world of art and cinema and into the history of the Nappa valley's wines !