Founded by a successful Finnish sea Captain, Gustave Niebaum, in the 1880’s, Inglenook Estate in Rutherford California was once the most highly regarded of the earliest, great Napa Valley estate wineries. Over the years the estate passed through the hands of Niebaum’s descendants.
Eventually the family started to sell off plots of the historic homestead. Even the proud name was put on the market in 1964 and sold to a corporation as merely a brand name. But in 1975, Francis Ford Coppola purchased the largest parcel of the land including the Captain’s old home. The idea was to have a place close to his production company in San Francisco where his family could live and maybe make a bit of wine, like he had done with his father and grandfather (both Italian immigrants to America) in the basement of their New York apartment when he was a kid. Through the ups and downs of his movie-making career, a new dream emerged. Egged on by Napa neighbours like Robert Mondavi, Coppola soon became intent on restoring the estate to its former glory. Indeed, the 1945 Cabernet Sauvignon has consistently scored 100 point and is still venerated as one of the all time best wines to be made in the new world.
Piece by piece the estate was reassembled. And then finally, nearly forty years later and at significant financial cost, Coppola realised his dream of re-acquiring the Inglenook name putting it back where he felt it always belonged on the label of the wine made from the great Rutherford estate. The Inglenook 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Cask’ is the first wine to be released since then and proudly sports the prestigious estate name along with an etched image of the famously recognizable chateau. The label signifies the return of Inglenook in every sense.