InA Sense of Place, renowned wine expert and writer
Steven Kolpan tells the story of how Francis Ford Coppola brought
California''s most distinguished and historic vineyard back to
Gustave Niebaum''s Inglenook Estate, started in 1879, was one of
the Napa Valley''s first established vineyards and the birthplace
of its premium wine industry. Generations after Niebaum''s death,
the vineyard was sold to Heublein, the wine and spirits monolith,
who broke up the land and changed the Inglenook brand from a
premium, connoisseur wine to a mass-market jug wine.
In 1975, Francis Coppola bought the Niebaum residence and the
surrounding estate. Along with the original estate''s reputation,
he also brought back some of its original workers, including Rafael
Rodriquez, who, in h is late seventies, now serves as the vineyard
manager and historian.
Coppola overcame naysayers, red tape, and financial turmoil to
reestablish the winery as a defender of quality, producing wine
under four different labels, including the revered wine
In 1995, Coppola purchased the Inglenook Chateau and its
adjacent vineyards, fulfilling his dream of reuniting the original
Napa Valley estate.
Kolpan''s luscious, flavorful narrative is worth
enjoyingnowand keeping for later.