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06.2011

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnWineReport

AN OFFER THEY COULDN’T REFUSE

He was a man on a mission. Famed winemaker and director Francis Ford Coppola has acquired the iconic Inglenook trademark from The Wine Group. As such, his celebrated Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, Napa Valley will be known by its historic original name, Inglenook. Coppola has now fulfilled the promise he made years ago to reunite the property in its entirety with the brand. Inglenook and its wines have a legacy dating back nearly 15O years to the founding of the Inglenook Winery in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum. The legendary 1941 Inglenook Cabernet, which is considered one of the greatest wines ever made, was produced from vineyards that are still part of Coppola’s estate in Rutherford. Additionally, beginning this summer, renowned Bordeaux winemaker Philippe Bascaules will assume the position of Estate Manager and Winemaker at the newly renamed Inglenook. Bascaules comes from Chateau Mârgaux, one of France’s five First Growth Bordeaux wineries, where he served as Estate Director. “Welcoming a preeminent winemaker like Philippe Bascaules to the renamed Inglenook expresses my intention to honor the estate’s heritage and restore its legacy,” said Coppola. “There’s an interesting idea that the owner of a wine estate is part of the terroir, and it’s in this spirit that I’ve spent the last year assessing Inglenook’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 America’s greatest wine estate. This would not be possible save the gracious support of the owner/managers of The Wine Group.” Concurrent with Bascaules’s arrival, Heather de Savoye has been appointed President of Sales for Inglenook. Since only the intellectual property of Inglenook brand is being transferred, The Wine Group intends to transition the current wines sold under the brand name to alternative labels over the coming months. Rubicon will continue to be the proprietary name of Inglenook’s flagship wine.

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