The European Wine Council recently honored filmmaker and vintner Francis Ford Coppola with a special award for outstanding achievement in the world of wine. Coppola is the founder of Napa Valley's Niebaum-Coppola Winery, which is best known for its Rubicon blend.
At the council's fourth annual gala dinner, held in March at Le Cirque 2000, in New York, chairman Lucio Caputo praised Coppola for "his outstanding contributions to the world of wine that have generated renewed appreciation for wine."
Coppola first got into winemaking 22 years ago. After acquiring a portion of Napa Valley's historic Inglenook estate and the home of its founder Gustave Niebaum, he turned a carriage house on the Rutherford property into a small winery. Then in January 1995, he bought the old Inglenook winery from Heublein, reuniting the entire estate and restoring it into a showpiece and working winery once again. Prior to his purchase, the winemaking facilities at Inglenook had not put out a single bottle of wine in 20 years.
Also honored at the council's event was Patrick "Chip" Cassidy, wine director of Crown Wine and Spirits in Florida and a wine educator at Florida International University. Cassidy received the Wine Ambassador's Award for his educational and promotional efforts for European wine.
Based in New York City, the European Wine Council was founded in 1992 in an effort to increase Americans' knowledge of European wines.
Check out recent ratings of Niebaum-Coppola wines.
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