Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish former ship's captain and fur shipping business owner purchased, in 1879, the Napa Valley Inglenook 'Cozy Corner' farm and 440 acres of a neighbouring farm for a fraction of his substantial wealth. The first harvest in 1882 saw 80,000 gallons of wine made, prompting the expansion of production and the building of a deep, temperature controlled cellar in a nearby hillside. Very soon, wine from Inglenook is highly respected, being served in the White House and later, after Niebaum's death, earning 19 gold medals at the opening celebration of the Panama Canal. Wine production was forced to stop during the prohibition years between 1919 and 1933, but restarted on the day it was repealed, alongside a huge party! John Daniel Jr, takes over management of the estate and continues the legacy of Gustave Niebaum.
The '60s saw many challenges to wine production. The winemaking facilities are now very old and in need of renovation and repair and large portions of the vineyards are sold. At the death of John Daniel Jr. in 1970, the remaining estate land and the chateau are sold.
The modern era begins in 1975 with the purchase of over 1500 acres of the former Inglenook estate including the chateau by Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola with profits from The Godfather films. Employing celebrated winemakers, the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery earns significant attention for the quality of its wines. In 2011, the Inglenook brand is reacquired by the Coppolas before they announce that the estate and its wines will once again be known by its historical name, Inglenook.
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