Award-winning filmmaker acquires fabled Inglenook trademark.
In a July 2007 interview with The Land Report, Francis Ford Coppola spoke of his quest to return Gustave Niebaumâ€™s renowned estate to its former glory. Founded in 1879, the Inglenook Winery was christened â€œthe Queen of the Napa Valleyâ€ due in large measure to its renowned Cabernet Sauvignon. But beginning in the 1960s, Inglenook was parceled off in bits and pieces. â€œThere are great old things that are broken apart and sold off like the movie studios, for example. And thatâ€™s what happened to Inglenook,â€ Coppola said.
Coppolaâ€™s quest first took shape in 1975 when he acquired 1,560 acres of vineyards formerly on the estate as well as the home that once belonged to Niebaum (pictured right). Two decades later, Coppola acquired the remaining portions of the Niebaum Estate, including the stately chateau, which required two years to renovate.
This April, Coppola completed his quest when he acquired the iconic Inglenook trademark from The Wine Group. At the same time, he announced that renowned Bordeaux winemaker Philippe Bascaules, who has served as estate director at Chateau Margaux for the past 11 years, will become Inglenookâ€™s estate manager and winemaker.
â€œThereâ€™s an interesting idea that the owner of a wine estate is part of the terroir, and itâ€™s in this spirit that Iâ€™ve spent the last year assessing Inglenookâ€™s future needs, including recruiting Philippe Bascaules, invigorating the vineyards, planning a new state-of-the-art winemaking facility, and focusing on what it would take to achieve my goal of restoring this property into Americaâ€™s greatest wine estate,â€ Coppola said.
No financial terms were disclosed.