Beverage Industry

Francis Ford Coppola acquires Inglenook brand

April 12, 2011

Francis Ford Coppola purchased the Inglenook trademark from The Wine Group. Going forward, Coppola’s Rubicon Estate, Rutherford, Calif., will be known by its original name, Inglenook.
 
Inglenook and its wines have played a prominent role in defining Napa Valley as one of the great wine regions of the world, with a legacy dating back nearly 150 years to the founding of the Inglenook Winery in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, the winery said.
 
In addition, beginning this summer Bordeaux winemaker Philippe Bascaules will assume the position of estate manager and winemaker at the newly renamed Inglenook.
 
“Welcoming a pre-eminent winemaker like Philippe Bascaules to the renamed Inglenook expresses my intention to honor the estate's heritage and restore its legacy,” Coppola said, in a statement. “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.”
 
“Good stewardship of our brands is central to our company's operating philosophy and culture," said David Kent, chief executive officer of The Wine Group, in a statement. "We are pleased to see the revered Inglenook brand reunited with its historic estate under The Coppola Family’s stewardship. This is a proud moment for the California wine industry."
 
Rubicon will continue to be the proprietary name of Inglenook’s flagship wine. Because 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 during the coming months. No financial terms of this transaction have been disclosed.
 
Concurrent with Bascaules’s arrival, Heather de Savoye has been appointed president of sales for Inglenook. During the last four and a half years, de Savoye has established an international sales presence for the estate wines and will now assume responsibility for both international and domestic wholesale sales operations.