Inglenook Winery was founded in 1879, the vision of Gustave Niebaum—a Finnish sea captain, entrepreneur, and wine connoisseur—who immediately recognized the potential of the property's terroir, that is, the soil, the weather, and all of the unpredictable conditions affecting each year's grape harvest.
It was Niebaum's dream to build a wine estate that would rival Europe's finest, and by the time that his grandnephew, John Daniel Jr., inherited the Estate in the 1930s, Inglenook had already earned an international reputation.
In 1975 Francis and Eleanor Coppola purchased a portion of the Estate, and have spent the last 40 years reuniting the original vineyards, returning winemaking operations to the grand Chateau, and fostering the original spirit by which Inglenook achieved its illustrious heritage.
The Coppolas acquired the iconic Inglenook trademark in April, 2011, which marked their final goal in restoring the Estate with the intention of bringing its former tradition and culture into the present.
Philippe Bascaules, the renowned French winemaker from Bordeaux, was personally chosen by the Coppolas in 2011 to become Inglenook’s General Manager. Bascaules’s experience in making some of the world’s most critically acclaimed wines has taught him the importance of respecting the heritage of a great terroir, and his attitude is unassuming and clear-cut. “I am here not to make changes for the sake of it,” he says. “Everything is a question of balance, but preserving elegance is essential.”
The vision and philosophy of Bascaules and the Coppolas are in complete harmony with that of Niebaum, Daniel, and all those who have previously stewarded this unique property with abiding respect. Each time we share a bottle of wine produced by the Inglenook Estate with friends and family, we become a living aspect of its culture, continuing a dream born over a century ago.