Situated in Rutherford, one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in California, the Estate strives to preserve the traditions of its predecessor by crafting world-class wines. It took more than twenty years to reunite all of the original vineyards and restore winemaking to the Chateau. Now that this is complete, we have progressed into a new era of innovation, choosing to rename ... Read more
Situated in Rutherford, one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in California, the Estate strives to preserve the traditions of its predecessor by crafting world-class wines. It took more than twenty years to reunite all of the original vineyards and restore winemaking to the Chateau. Now that this is complete, we have progressed into a new era of innovation, choosing to rename the property - Rubicon Estate - after our critically-acclaimed flagship wine. When Gustave Niebaum began his enterprise, there were approximately forty-five wineries in California. Today, there are more than two hundred fifty in Napa Valley alone. None have as rich a history, as remarkable a story, or as innovative a family as Rubicon Estate.
Those driven to succeed seldom find satisfaction in mere prosperity, for the struggle to accomplish the remarkable is infinite in scope and measure. During the years when the American wine industry was still in its infancy, a tenacious young sea captain named Gustave Niebaum amassed a small fortune in the Alaskan fur trade. Having achieved financial independence at an early age, Niebaum could have simply retired and still commanded respect from his peers. Instead, a longing for missed European traditions compelled him to launch a winery. Well-read and enthusiastic, Niebaum pursued this goal not as that of a hobbyist, but with a zeal that verged on obsession. In 1880, he founded Inglenook “…to make a Californian wine, if it can be made, that will be sought by connoisseurs and will command as high a price as the famous French, German and Spanish wines.” Niebaum spared no expense. Relentless, fanatical, and intent on perfection, he procured the very best vineyards, planted noble varietals, and designed a winery that was an engineering marvel of its day. Within ten years of founding Inglenook, Niebaum’s wines were lauded by the press, both at home and internationally.
In the wake of Prohibition, Susan Niebaum’s grand-nephew John Daniel, Jr. assumed leadership of the winery. Dedicated to continuing the family's tradition of producing world-class wines, Daniel created legendary Cabernet Sauvignon’s which critics have since judged to be among the greatest in the world. Like Niebaum, John Daniel led without compromise. “Pride, not profits,” was his motto and wines were not even bottled unless they met his strict standards of quality. It was a daring way to conduct business but history has proved him right.
In 1975, Francis Coppola came upon the historic Inglenook property in his quest for a summer cottage where he could make a little ‘home’ wine like his grandparents once did. Though far more grand than what he and his family initially sought, Coppola was impressed by the Estate’s natural beauty and intrigued by the story of Gustave Niebaum. Feeling somehow connected to the man who shared a similar immigrant success story, Coppola purchased the Estate on his second try and once he learned more about its storied past, vowed to reconstruct the great Estate. Read less