A Sense of Place: An Intimate Portrait of the Niebaum-Coppola Winery and the Napa Valley
From The Publisher:
In A Sense of Place, renouned wine expert Steven Kolpan tells the story of how Francis Ford Coppola brought California's most distinguished and historical vineyard back to life. Gustave Niebaum's Inglenook Estate, started in 1879, was one of California's first established vineyards and the birthplace of its premium wine industry. Generations after Niebaum's death, the vineyard was sold to Heublein (the distributor of Smirnoff Vodka, among others) who broke up the land and changed the brand from a premium, connoisseur wine to a mass-market jug wine. In 1975, Coppola bought the Niebaum residence and the surrounding estate. Along with the original estate reputation, he also brought back some of its original workers, including Rafael Rodriguez, who, in his late seventies, now serves as the vineyard manager and historian. Coppola overcame naysayer, red tape, and financial turmoil to reestablish the winery as a defender of quality, producing wine under four different labels, including the revered wined Rubicon and Cask Cabernet. In 1995, Coppola purchased the Inglenook Chateau and its adjacent vineyard, fulfilling his dream of reuniting the original Napa Valley Estate. Kolpan's luscious, flavorful narrative is worth enjoying now and keeping for later.
...admirably engages the sometimes arcane details that go with the viticultural territory.
—The New York Times Book Review, Ted Loos
"A discerning view of the winery...Mr. Kolpan is particularly good on the contributions of the Mexican laborers who quietly perform so much of the work that goes into making Napa Valley wines."
—"Wine Talk," New York Times - December 15, 1999
"Steven Kolpan's remarkably well researched book on the Niebaum-Coppola Winery goes well beyond the walls of the vineyard of the winery itself. In addition to addressing the importance of this remarkable winery, it offers a passionate and informative look at the history of the California wine industry as a whole. A Sense of Place is one of the most enjoyable, educational and significant wine books I have ever read."
—Daniel Johnnes, Wine Director, Montrachet, New York City and the author of Daniel Johnnes' Top 200 Wines: An Expert's Guide to Maximum Enjoyment for Your Dollar
"...lovingly written....Wine lovers will be captivated by the tale of the Inglenook property and its extraordinary wines and workers."
"If you've visited the winery owned by movie director Francis Ford Coppola in Napa Valley lately, or recalled the glory days of its predecessor, the old Inglenook Winery, I've got a book for you....First, let me say, that I find most wine biography books rather self-serving and, frankly, downright boring... But Kolpan doesn't hold anything back, even criticizing some of the wines and letting industry folks speak frankly. And, in this case, that's the best part."
—Seattle Times, October 6, 1999
About the Author
Steven Kolpan, professor of wine studies and gastronomy at The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY, is the co-author of Exploring Wine: The Culinary Institute of America's Complete Guide to Wines of the World.
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