Porthos | The Wine Insiders
Rubicon Estate
rubicon_estate_logo.jpg Francis Ford Coppola has been making movies for more than 30 years, and wines at his Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery in the Napa Valley for almost 20. In February 1995 he purchased the massive stone lnglenook Chateau and its adjacent vineyards. This purchase reunited the original Napa Valley estate founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum and preserves his legacy for future generations.

"We want to invite both wine lovers and people who appreciate our creative heritage here in California. The lnglenook Chateau will house a Centennial Museum which will chronicle the history the wine making at the estate, and my own history in film making, in a sense, wine making and film making are two great art forms very important in the development of California. The Centennial Museum is also the story of two immigrant families. Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish immigrant who made his fortune in the Alaska fur trade and then pursued his dream of establishing a great wine estate to rival those of France, and the Coppola family, Italian-Americans, who pursued another American dream in the arts--primarily music and film. As we've researched this exhibit," continued Coppola, "we've discovered some interesting parallels and intersections between the two families--the two immigrant experiences.

Visitors to the Centennial Museum will see documents and artifacts from Inglenook's early beginnings and glory days, and memorabilia from many of Coppola's films. Vito Corleone's desk and chair from The Godfather, a Tucker car from movie of the same name, and props and costumes from Bram Stoker's Dracula will be displayed. Five of Mr. Coppola's Oscars and numerous movie stills will also be on view. An artifact of particular interest to movie buffs is the riverboat from Apocalypse Now. The boat has rested in the vineyard above the chateau for many years. Coppola re-shot a few final scenes at the estate to complete the film. in fact Coppola's movie career and the winery have been intertwined since the beginning. Rubicon, the estate's highly-acclaimed proprietary red wine made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, has appeared in several Coppola films and can always be found wherever Coppola is on location.

"There's so much in a glass of wine--in its color, its aroma and its taste--that tells of its heritage, of the land that it comes from, of the weather that year, and of the philosophy of the family making it," says Coppola. "Our family is extremely concerned with the conservation of this properly, the purity of the water, the way we farm, the fact that the grapes grown here are certified organic. Our goal has always been to make one of the great American wines. We are committed to that goal and to preserving this unique heritage, and look forward to sharing if with the thousands of wine lovers who visit the Napa Valley each year."