Francis Ford Coppola, proprietor of Inglenook, says the historic winery will mark its 140thanniversary by significantly expanding its caves. The major expansion will accommodate the addition of 122 stainless steel fermenting tanks, each dedicated to one of Inglenook’s 122 vineyard parcels.
“Since it was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, Inglenook has been renowned for its creativity, quality, innovation and industry leadership,” said Coppola. “We continue that tradition and dedication with this significant cave expansion, led by our director of winemaking, Philippe Bascaules.” The cave expansion kicks off a year-long celebration of Inglenook’s 140th anniversary.
From Gustave Niebaum to John Daniel, Jr. to Francis Ford Coppola, Inglenook’s three principal stewards have shared a strong sense of vision and an unwavering passion to create a wine estate that hearkens back to the European tradition, producing original, distinctly Napa wines that rival the best in Europe. Working with Coppola, Bascaules’ vision is to ferment each of Inglenook’s 122 vineyard parcels separately, to enhance the wines’ complexity.
“Having more tanks preserves the identity of each parcel, which allows us to be more precise as we’re blending,” said Bascaules. “We can then better explore the capacity of each parcel, which will create more diversity and will lead to more complex, balanced blends.”
Inglenook has a rich history of leadership in the wine industry. Many of founder Gustave Niebaum’s innovations at Inglenook became industry standards: Inglenook instituted the first sterile bottling process in Napa; it was the first to separate field debris from grapes; Inglenook planted Napa’s first Merlot in 1882; and Inglenook built the first gravity-flow winery in 1888, which was considered one of the greatest winery structures in the Western Hemisphere at the time.
The new cave expansion is expected to be completed in time for the 2020 harvest.