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Coppola to expand Inglenook wine cellars in Napa

Francis Ford Coppola’s Inglenook in Napa Valley will expand its winemaking cellars in the latest example of wineries looking for ever-greater precision in the bottle.

Inglenook plans to add 122 stainless steel vats to its winemaking arsenal in time for the 2020 vintage in Napa Valley.

‘The addition of 122 tanks will give each vineyard parcel its own place to develop,’ Philippe Bascaules, Inglenook’s director of winemaking, told Decanter.com.

It is the latest example of a trend among the world’s top producers to exert more precision over their wines by fermenting different parts of their vineyard harvest separately.

‘When I started working with the Coppola Family [in 2011], I gave them a 50-year plan for the renewal of the vineyards,’ said Bascaules, who is also MD at Château Margaux in Bordeaux.

‘This expansion is consistent with that plan and our ongoing exploration and experimentation.’

In a press statement, Bascaules added that the expansion means Inglenook ‘can then better explore the capacity of each parcel, which will create more diversity and will lead to more complex, balanced blends’.

Financial details of the expansion were not disclosed.

Inglenook is celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2019, but Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor spent more than three decades restoring the estate to its original form after buying their first tranche of its vineyards in 1975.

They bought up more parcels over the subsequent years but it wasn’t until 2011 that the couple gained the trademark rights to the Inglenook name, for a sum believed to be around $14m.

‘My contract doesn’t allow me to say how much, but it’s in that region,’ the director of The Godfather and producer of Apocalypse Now told Decanter.com in 2012.

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