One surprising highlight of our Inglenook wine tasting was the chance to leisurely roam through a mini museum. It turns out that when the Coppolas restored the Chateau, they created a museum that reveals the winery’s extraordinary history and filmmaking history. We were almost giddy with the chance to explore it all. So, I masked up, and we walked through the lower level of the Chateau and the second floor to marvel at what they have preserved.
As you begin your tour of the lower level, you’ll get glimpses of the early years of the property and some background on Captain Niebaum – the man who started it all. You’ll even get to see what his ship’s cabin and dining room might have been like as he traveled in the late 1860s. We loved seeing how the winery grew, how it changed hands, its challenges, and some of the earliest bottles of wine from the estate.
As we walked closer to the magnificent hand-carved staircase, we also got a chance to examine the movie-making memorabilia. Andy was mesmerized by the samples of the zoetropes that the Coppolas saved and displayed (American Zoetrope is the name of Francis Ford Coppola’s production company). Have you ever seen a magic lantern? How about a moviegraph projector? We hadn’t either, and we loved getting a chance to get so close to them.
Upstairs, it’s hard to miss the car. If you love cars, you’ll be amazed at seeing the Tucker 48 (produced in Chicago in 1948) on display. Featured in Coppola’s film, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, the car has quite the history itself. Apparently, only 51 of them were ever produced. And it is gorgeous.
We took out time and savored the memorabilia as we did the wine we had in the courtyard. The costumes, the props, and the stills made us smile. And it very nearly inspired us to get back to work. I only took a handful of pictures because we were so focused on exploring that I simply forgot to take many. And that’s a good sign of an afternoon well spent.