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Inglenook Unites New, Old Caves

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Historic Inglenook Estate at Rutherford in the heart of California's Napa Valley Historic Inglenook Estate at Rutherford in the heart of California's Napa Valley

TASTE News Service, February 19, 2020 – Francis Ford Coppola, proprietor of Inglenook, has announced that a significant milestone has been reached in the expansion of Inglenook's cave network.

Last Thursday the tunneling crew broke through the wall that separated the existing labyrinth of caves from the new cave. The remarkable expansion of Inglenook's caves, which currently house the wines as they age in barrel, started early last year during the celebration of Inglenook's 140th anniversary. The new cave will accommodate the addition of 120 new insulated stainless steel fermenting tanks, each dedicated to one of Inglenook's 120 nuanced growing areas within the winery's organically-farmed vineyards. The project is expected to be completed later this year, in time for the 2020 harvest.

Francis and Eleanor Coppola at cave expansion Picmonkey

"Along with my family, I am so pleased that we have reached this important milestone in the expansion of Inglenook's cave," said Coppola. "We take our stewardship of this esteemed winery very seriously. Since it was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, Inglenook has been renowned for its innovation, leadership, creativity and commitment to quality. We are dedicated to further elevating Inglenook's stature with this vast cave expansion, led by our director of winemaking, Philippe Bascaules."

 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.

"Having 120 tanks helps us increase our knowledge of our organically-farmed vineyard and each growing area," said Bascaules. "We'll have a lot of capacity to vinify and separate the grapes. All of the tanks will be automated, too, which will allow us to experiment with multiple pump-overs. Additionally, we can experiment with extraction and we have infinite possibilities, which will lead to even more complex wines."

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 1887, which was considered one of the greatest winery structures in the Western Hemisphere at the time.

About Inglenook

Founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum as Napa's first estate winery, Inglenook boasts an illustrious heritage. 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.  It remains the largest contiguous estate on the famed Rutherford Bench, Napa Valley's finest area for producing spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon.

The iconic Inglenook chateau was first constructed in 1887, and faithfully restored in 1997.  For more information visit www.inglenook.com.

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