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Inglenook Estate has announced that it will produce the first premium wine bearing the Inglenook label since the Estate was disassembled in 1964. The 2009 vintage of Inglenook CASK Cabernet will be released in late spring of 2012.

One year ago, Francis Ford Coppola successfully completed the process of reclaiming the Inglenook trademark so that his celebrated Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, Napa Valley would thereafter be known by its historicInglenook 09 Cask  SMALL ING engraving FNL original name. At the same time, he hired winemaker Philippe Bascaules, previously of Château Margaux in Bordeaux, to assume the position of Estate Manager and Winemaker for 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 130 years to the founding of the Inglenook Winery in 1880 by Gustave Niebaum. The 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. The legendary 1941 vintage remains an inspiration for Inglenook Estate today and for the fortunate few who have the opportunity to experience it.

The estate wines will return to their historical labels as well. The new label heralds the original Inglenook Cabernet label of the late 1950s, of which it is almost an exact replica, and features a classic design showcasing the façade of the Inglenook Estate and the name of the grape, Cabernet Sauvignon. Francis Ford Coppola commissioned a retired US Mint artist to create the etching of the chateau that appears on the new label.

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 130 years to the founding of the Inglenook Winery in 1880 by Gustave Niebaum. The 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. The legendary 1941 vintage remains an inspiration for Inglenook Estate today and for the fortunate few who have the opportunity to experience it.

The choice of the 2009 CASK Cabernet as the first wine to bear the new Inglenook label is fitting. The CASK Cabernet is a tribute to the highly stylized Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Inglenook during the John Daniel, Jr. era of the 1930s and 1940s that saw many of the greatest historical Inglenook vintages ever produced. This wine epitomizes the kind of Rutherford wine that inspires and stimulates debate among connoisseurs.

The 2009 vintage is a deserving choice to represent the greatness of Inglenook Estate, as well. Philippe Bascaules offers his first impression of the vintage: “When I tasted some samples of the 2009 vintage, I recognized the incredible potential of this property. I understood Francis Ford Coppola’s desire to bring the quality of the wines to their fullest potential.”

Bascaules works closely with Stéphane Derenoncourt, the famed Pomerol-based winemaking consultant who has been the consulting winemaker at the Estate responsible for the 2008 and subsequent vintages.

HISTORY OF INGLENOOK

Inglenook Vineyards was founded in 1880 by Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish sea captain who used his enormous wealth to import the best European grapevines to Napa. Over the next several decades under the guidance of the legendary John Daniel, Inglenook built a reputation as the source of some of the finest wines ever made. By 1975, however, when Francis and Eleanor Coppola first purchased part of the famed property, the Inglenook Estate had long since been broken up and its name sold off. The Coppolas spent the next twenty years reuniting the vineyards and restoring winemaking to the historic Inglenook Chateau. Today, in addition to the Cabernet Sauvignon that dominates the Estate, the Inglenook acreage is also planted with Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, and eight acres of white Rhone varietals that produce the estate's flagship white, Blancaneaux. Inglenook is now completely restored to its original dimensions and is once again America's great wine estate.

 

Editor's Note: Readers can share Dan Clarke's experience with many of those great Inglenook vintages at Tasting History, A Trip into Inglenook's Past.

 

West Los Angeles, which stretches from the Miracle Mile to Brentwood, is an oasis of culture paired with chic, urban perks. A wealth of amenities, including world-class museums, chic shopping areas and chef-driven restaurants, are in store.

Miracle Mile

The Miracle Mile is home to several of LA's top museums, all within walking distance of one another. Among them is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), one of nation's top art institutions. Since it opened in 1965, the museum has grown into a 20-acre campus that exhibits 100,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present. Seven buildings house rotating exhibits and a permanent collection that includes works of all media from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. The campus is in the midst of a 10-year expansion known as the Transformation, designed by celebrated architect Renzo Piano. Already open are the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, featuring post-war works, and the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, with a rotating selection of major exhibitions.

Adjacent to LACMA is the Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits, a working laboratory where paleontologists uncoverLaBreaTarPits PictureThe La Brea Tar Pits in another era. the remains of Ice-Age mammals like mastodons and saber-toothed cats from actual tar pits, where these creatures met their ends 11,000 years ago. Inside the Page Museum, you can watch as they clean, reconstruct and examine the fossils.

Across Wilshire Boulevard, the Petersen Automotive Museum is unmistakable, with decorative elements on its façade that resemble giant fins from a classic car. The museum's lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 vehicles, including rare and classic cars, racecars, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It also features the history of the automobile, as well as auto design and technology.

The nearby Craft and Folk Art Museum was founded by the late Edith R. Wylie, who was self-described as "a chronic enthusiast of indigenous art." The art tells stories via original exhibitions, workshops, lectures and community events. Works have included photographs of contemporary Iran, solar ovens, and L.A.'s Asian-Latin fusion.

After a day of museum-stomping, it's time to relax in one the more than 92,000 hotel and motel rooms throughout LA. The boutique Hotel Wilshire houses 74 of these rooms and is located in the heart of the Miracle Mile district. The hotel has a rooftop pool, restaurant and bar, featuring stunning city views, as well as modern amenities.

And for dining, you can head back to LACMA, where Ray's and Stark Bar opened in the expansive, central BP Pavilion last year. Esquire magazine named this Mediterranean restaurant, with its adjacent, al fresco bar, "one of the best new restaurants of 2011." Or drive north just a few miles and dine at an LA institution, Campanile. This 20-year-old restaurant in a rustic setting serves California fare with a menu that changes daily. Adjacent is the original La Brea Bakery, specializing in artisan breads.

The Original Farmers Market/The Grove

There are many farmers' markets throughout LA, but The Original Farmers Market is at Third and Fairfax, walking distance from the Miracle Mile. It all started in 1934, when18 local farmers gathered at that intersection and sold produce from the backs of their trucks. Today, it boasts more than 100 boutiques, specialty food shops, produce stands, butchers and restaurants, including a few retail outlets and eateries in the newer North Market. Stroll through the stalls and shops in the open-air market and treat yourself to a scoop of freshly made cabernet sauvignon sorbet or pumpkin ice cream from Bennett's Ice Cream; buy a decorative, non-leaded candle at By Candlelight; or savor a glass of wine and artisan cheese at Monsieur Marcel wine bar and gourmet market.

In 2002, The Grove, an open-air shopping, dining and entertainment mecca, opened next door to the Farmers Market. Built to resemble a Tuscan village, The Grove is anchored by Nordstrom and an art-deco multiplex cinema and features dozens of shops, from Abercrombie & Fitch to UGG Australia. Attracting more than 18 million visitors a year from around the world, The Grove has become a tourist haven because of its central fountain, which dances to music, and a vintage-style, double-decker trolley that runs between The Grove and Farmers Market. On weekdays, the entertainment news show "Extra!" with Mario Lopez is filmed live on The Grove's cobblestone streets. And if you want to savor the cuisine, as well as the scene, there are several restaurants offering indoor and al fresco dining, like The Farm of Beverly Hills, which offers its own spin on American comfort food with items like Dill Pickle Fried Chicken and Truffle Mac & Cheese.

Just north of The Grove, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the nation's oldest Holocaust museum, exhibits artifacts from survivors of Nazi concentration camps. Its interactive audio and video exhibits depict the Holocaust era and the worldwide effort by non-Jews to save Jewish lives.

If you're looking for a unique place to stay, The Farmer's Daughter Hotel across the street from The Grove offers a country cool retreat in the middle of LA's urban scene, with 66 rooms and Tart restaurant.

West 3rd Street/Beverly Center

Go west on 3rd Street from Farmers Market, and you'll find an area that attracts LA hipsters, young families and the arts crowd. The street is lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, like Polkadots and Moonbeams, selling vintage clothing and accessories; Kristin Londgren, specializing in cocktail-length, bias-cut dresses with soft draping; and Milk, featuring fashionable clothing for the family.

Bordering the west side of West 3rd Street is the Beverly Center. This indoor shopping emporium includes 160 specialty boutiques and restaurants reflecting the diverse styles and tastes of Los Angeles, including those of celebrities, who often shop there, sometimes unnoticed. Anchored by Bloomingdale's and two Macy's stores, the Center also offers brand-name stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and True Religion Brand Jeans.

Along the way, you'll find some of the City's hippest hotels. For example, The Orlando, a European-style boutique hotel, recently completed a $6 million facelift. In 2006, the Sofitel Los Angeles completed a $35 million transformation mixing European sophistication with the energetic pulse of Hollywood by the award-winning design team of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg. The hotel now features Simon LA restaurant by Chef Kerry Simon, offering a Hollywood take on American comfort food. And the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, a Luxury Collection Hotel adjacent to Beverly Hills, is the first of that brand to open. SLS stands for style, luxury and service, and this hotel has it all. Its sixth-floor pool deck has two pools, private cabanas and a pool concierge; and its onsite restaurant, The Bazaar by James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Andres features innovative delicacies.

But West Third is a walking street, and you might want to try some of its standalone eateries. For example, you can get breakfast all day at Toast Bakery and Café. At Joan's on Third, you can dine in a deli type atmosphere and buy tapenades, fancy deli meats, hard-to-find cheeses, breads and pastries at the restaurant's Gourmet Marketplace. And The Little Next Door offers healthful organic indulgences using local ingredients.

Century City

Century City  Photo SMALLCentury City at nightfall.Once a backlot for 20th Century Fox (now Fox Studios, which is still in operation nearby), Century City is a 176-acre "city within a city" with high-rise office towers, residential properties and an upscale, open-air shopping mall.

Tucked among these urban structures is the Annenberg Space for Photography, located on the former site of the Shubert Theatre. The intimate museum, which offers free admission and features an interior design influenced by the workings of a camera, is dedicated to the exhibition of print and digital photography with rotating exhibits by renowned masters.

Century City's two main hotels are the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, both located on Avenue of the Stars. The Hyatt, with its distinctive curved main structure, originally opened in the 1960s and hosted many celebrities and dignitaries. Its award-winning Breeze Restaurant serves locally sourced California cuisine and also offers a sushi bar and vegan selections. The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City is a newer luxury hotel with 361 rooms, a spa with Zen-inspired villas, and the casually elegant Park Grill, serving globally inspired California cuisine.

Some of the best shopping in the City is at the Westfield Century City, an outdoor plaza with 111 stores, including designer stores like Armani Exchange, Coach and Kenneth Cole. Anchored by Macy's and Bloomingdale's, it also features a multiplex cinema. Dining includes upscale casual restaurants, such as RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, featuring cuisines from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. Other options include a dining terrace and specialty food shops.

Westwood

Westwood is best known as home to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the adjacent Westwood Village. UCLA is one of the country's top educational institutions, but it goes way beyond that, with museums, a sculpture garden and landmark architecture in and around the campus. For example, its Royce Hall performance venue features a façade inspired by a Milan basilica. It is the main venue for UCLA Live, one of LA's most varied programs of dance, music, spoken word and experimental theater. UCLA's five -acre Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is among the finest in the country, with more than 70 major works by famous sculptors, including Matisse, Moore and Noguchi. The campus' seven-acre Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden is home to more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world. The Fowler Museum features works from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific.

Adjacent to the south end of the campus lies Westwood Village, with dozens of restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, shops and movie theaters, all within a few blocks of one another in a quaint yet urban village setting. The UCLA Hammer Museum features a permanent collection with works by such noted artists as Rembrandt, Cézanne and Gauguin. For live theater, the Geffen Playhouse features classic plays, new works and musicals, and world and West Coast premieres.

Westwood has two hotels: Hotel Palomar, a chic hotel with 264 guestrooms, celebrates art in motion pictures with glamorous decor. It's a Kimpton hotel, and its chef-driven BLVD 16 restaurant serves farm-to-table California cuisine by Chef Richard Hodge. The W Los Angeles-Westwood, located on a quiet, residential street, features 258 modern rooms. It features a pool lined with lavish cabanas, Bliss Spa, Whisky Blue by bar magnate Rande Gerber, and NineThirty restaurant, serving California cuisine in a cozy environment.

Restaurants abound in Westwood Village and beyond. One of the oldest is Matteo's Restaurant, which opened in 1963. This Italian favorite was once frequented by Frank Sinatra and the other members of the Rat Pack. Other eateries include Yamato, serving Japanese pub food, and Palomino, with a rustic, European menu. South of Wilshire Boulevard, the area known as Little Persia features restaurants serving authentic ethnic food.

Bel Air/Brentwood

The Bel Air and Brentwood neighborhoods are home to some of LA's wealthiest residents and grandest mansions. But the grandest structure, which sits atop a hill overlooking the City, is the Getty Center. The Center is an art mecca with galleries, a garden, a café and research facilities. The collection includes paintings by masters such as van Gogh, Cézanne and Monet, as well as photographs, decorative arts, drawings, sculptures and other works of art.

Nearby is one of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, the Skirball Cultural Center, which traces the experiences and accomplishments of the Jewish people for more than 4,000 years with multimedia installations, rare artifacts, photographs, interactive computer stations and sound recordings.

Among the hotels in this area is the 103-room Hotel Bel-Air, A Dorchester Collection Hotel, which reopened in 2011 after a major transformation. Set in a luxury residential area in the hills of Bel Air, the award-winning hotel originally opened in 1946 and became a hideaway for the rich and famous. Among the new amenities is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant serving farm-to-table, California cuisine. Tucked into lower lying hills to the west is the 160-room Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, an urban retreat on seven acres at the intersection on Brentwood and Bel Air. On Sunset @ Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel restaurant features seasonal California fare with a French accent. And the Hotel Angeleno, a Joie de Vivre hotel, offers 208 rooms in a cylindrical tower. Each room has a private balcony and views. There's also a heated, outdoor pool with a fireplace and West Restaurant and Lounge, which offers 200-degree views of LA.

High-end shopping and upscale casual dining can be found in Brentwood Village, with dozens of independently owned and operated stores and restaurants, as well as major chains. You can also find services like nail salons, yoga studios and pet grooming there.

 

(TravMedia.com contributed to this article)

 

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of lodging and dining options in the Los Angeles area can be found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

Venice is a neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop a lot of people from mistaking it for its own city. Some would go as far as calling Venice its own planet. From the chaos of Ocean Front Walk to the fashion consciousness of Abbot Kinney Boulevard to the dozens of narrow streets lined with a mix of century-old homes and modern architectural statements, Venice is a singular destination in a city known for its individualism. The brainchild of New Jersey-born entrepreneur Abbot Kinney, Venice opened as a beach resort modeled after the world-famous Italian destination in 1905, complete with 16 miles of canals. While most of the canals were filled in by the 1930s, about a mile and a half of canals — complete with arched bridges — still wind their way through the enclave, providing a great way for people to explore the district and a great place for ducks to hang out. And, while about 40,000 people live in the three-square-mile district, a lot more flock there during the warmer months of the year to experience the urban-beachy-artsy vibe that can be found in few other places.

No Explanation Possible: Ocean Front Walk

A walk along Ocean Front Walk, aka the Venice Boardwalk, which stretches about a mile and a half from Santa MonicaMuscle Beach Two SMALLPumping iron at Muscle Beach. to Marina del Rey, can stun even the most jaded traveler or local. Buskers, hippies, body builders, chainsaw jugglers and even turban-wearing, roller-skating guitar player Harry Perry don't even begin to tell the whole story of the Venice Beach Boardwalk on a sunny weekend day. Pickup basketball players battle for supremacy on the Boardwalk-adjacent courts, which were featured in White Men Can't Jump; handball and paddle-tennis players take each other on nearby; surfers battle for position off the Venice jetty; and hundreds of vendors compete for your attention by selling everything imaginable. And if you want a view of the madness from above and don't want to leave the area, the Cadillac Hotel, which was built in 1914 and once served as Charlie Chaplin's summer residence, has been upgraded with art-deco touches. The Inn at Venice Beach is a mere four blocks from the southern end of Ocean Front Walk.

Slanted and Enchanted: Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Leave it to Venice to have its primary shopping thoroughfare named after its founder to cut perfectly diagonally through the district. Everything from furniture shops to home décor stores to vintage clothing boutiques and perfumeries line the street. Ananda features scented candles, Indian-inspired clothing, mini-Buddha figures and more. Surfing Cowboys hawks vintage skateboards, Navajo rugs and — yes — the occasional surfboard. Pamela Barish attracts a high-end clientele looking to mix in the funky with the finery. Modern, eclectic housewares abound at Firefly, while Heist's designer clothing bespeaks an urban sensibility. And Minnie T's has attracted trend-seeking folks since 2001. Meanwhile, shops like Milkmade and Guild give guys a chance to get stylish, while Waraku supplies hard-to-find imported shoes for men and women. And if all that shopping's making you hungry, Hans Rockenwagner's 3 Square Café + Bakery combines high-end ingredients with an informal atmosphere; Gjelina brings a modern approach to new-American cuisine; Glencrest represents old-school Abbot Kinney with serious barbeque; Primitivo combines Spanish-style tapas with an outstanding wine list; and Brig is a casual eatery complete with pool tables and music. For a good old-fashioned caffeine fix amid modern, architecture, there's Intelligentsia Venice Coffee Bar. And when all else fails, there are always the Abbot Kinney standbys: Joe's for classic American brunch or dinner, Hal's for a traditional  bar and grill experience, and Abbot's Pizza for piping hot, bagel-crust pies. Also, the Abbot Kinney Festival has been sending off the summer every year since 1984 with a party that includes live music, artisan crafts and other events that attract more than 150,000 people. And if you can't hit the Festival, no worries, as Abbot Kinney 1st Fridays brings the community together and welcomes all others on the first Friday evening of every month.

Non-Traditional Traditional

When Venice was first built more than a century ago, its heart was a group of Venetian-styled buildings and a colonnade at the corner of Pacific and Windward Avenues, which are still there today. Nearby, Hotel Erwin has 119 rooms, as well as a rooftop lounge and the well-regarded Barlo Kitchen & Cocktails, and the property is undergoing a $1 million upgrade in time for summer 2012. Meanwhile, two blocks east on Main and Windward (formerly the site of Venice's Grand Canal), Hama Sushi has been serving regulars and visitors since 1979. No less a Venice institution is Chaya Venice, which has been serving its French-Japanese cuisine about a mile north on Main Street near the Santa Monica border since 1990. Finally, no local trip is complete without a photo op in front of the Clown Ballerina building at Main Street and Rose Avenue. Yes, only in Venice.

 

(TravMedia.com contributed to this article)

 

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of Los Angeles area lodging and dining options can be found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

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