Whether you are a wine novice or expert, a visit to a winery is a great way to learn more about wine. Touching the grapes, walking around the estate, smelling the damp caves, tasting the wine, and learning the stories can make the complex world of wine less daunting. While you can certainly hop around Napa Valley on your own or attend tastings in your area, there is something magical about experiencing a scheduled tasting at the estate. Most wineries have a variety of tastings to choose from at different price points.

Francis Ford Coppola first became invoved with winemaking in 1975 when he purchased his first piece of the vineyard with the proceeds from the first “Godfather” film. The estate changed names over time and he never wavered from wanting to preserve pieces of the Inglenook estate’s history. In 2011 he spent more money buying back the rights to the name “Inglenook” than he spent purchasing the entire estate.

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Inglenook

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One of the oldest houses in Napa Valley is on the Inglenook estate
One of the oldest houses in Napa Valley is on the Inglenook estate
Outside the cafe at Inglenook
Outside the cafe

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We started our tour with 2014 Inglenook Blancaneaux.
We were welcomed with a 2014 Inglenook Blancaneaux.
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Blancaneaux is Inglenook’s white Rhone-style blend that’s produced in extremely limited quantities. Its grapes come from vines that are more than ten years old and received afternoon shade from Mt. St John.

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Francis Ford Coppola film museum at Inglenook
Francis Ford Coppola film museum at Inglenook

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The Caves

Heading toward the caves.

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The Vines

We went outside to the learn about the vigorous Zinfandel vines.
We went outside to the learn about the vigorous Zinfandel vines.

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The weather, temperature, soil, pruning, shade, storage, and timing affect the wine’s taste and quality. I appreciated this visit much more than when I lived in San Francisco in my 20s.
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Each type of wine can be identified by the shape and characteristics of the vine’s leaf. It would be cool to have a print of the different vine leaves with the name of each wine next to the leaf.
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Zinfandel grapes have a high sugar content and grow in tight bunches making them susceptible to “bunch rot.” Proper pruning prevents this from happening.

Inglenook Salon Tasting

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This was our room for the Inglenook's Salon Tasting.
This was our room for the Inglenook’s Salon Tasting.

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1) Edizione Pennino is the name of the music publishing company owned by Francis Ford Coppola’s grandfather, Francesco Pennino. Each vintage bottling has a music title printed on the cork. 2) Rubicon is Inglenook’s flagship wine that is made from their best grown fruit, first planted in the 1880s. 3) The CASK wines are Inglenook’s new era cabernets made the same way now as they were over 50 years ago.
Mushroom bite paired with the Edizione Pennino.
Mushroom bite paired with the Edizione Pennino.

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Short rib, quinoa, grains
Short rib, quinoa, grains
Inglenook Extra Virgin Olive oil
Inglenook Extra Virgin Olive oil
Pistachio macaron
Pistachio macaron

Inglenook, 1991 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA

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Inglenook1991 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA | 800 782 4266

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Posted by:Lou Stejskal

Introverted extrovert.

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