Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Its a word you hear in the industry once in a while - "Inglenooking" or "Inglenooked". It refers to the history of the Inglenook brand, once one of the most famous wines from Napa and made at the Niebaum estate (now owned by Francis Ford Coppolla) and now produced as a jug wine by Constellation with no ties to its rich heritage. The 1941 Inglenook was given a (retroactive) score of 100 by Wine Spectator, but how did this once noble brand enter the lower realms of the supermarket shelf?

Simple, corporate greed. In an attempt to capitalize on the Inglenook brand name, its owners, Heublein, decided to launch lower-priced California-appellation wines under the Inglenook label. Unfortunately, due to colossal mismanagement, the wines at the low end became synonymous with Inglenook rather than the high-end Napa bottlings (arguably Mondavi did the same thing by putting Robert's name on the Woodbridge label). Ultimately, the Napa ties were severed and whole generations of consumers have sadly only known Inglenook as a plonk brand.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will see big companies routinely "cash in" on their purchase of fancy or prestigious labels.
The Diageo company has just released wines bearing the Chalone label, though these wines are not from the prestigious Chalone estate. They're "Monterey" appellation for the moment. The Robert Mondavi winery had been cashing in on the fame of its Napa wines for years, producing all sorts of wines from various "California" sites. These are often sold by unscrupulous restaurateurs as being "Robert Mondavi" wines from Napa, when they're Central Coast, or worse, Lodi wines.

It's sad, though, to see once grand names dragged down to mud level. Inglenook is a prime example. As you rightly point out.

October 27, 2005 7:44 PM  
Blogger adam mahler said...

Well said Huge! I'm always looking for the term used to explain such marketing blunders by the greepy suits.

October 28, 2005 2:19 PM  
Blogger CSDany said...

"adam mahler:

Well said Huge! I'm always looking for the term used to explain such marketing blunders by the greepy suits. "

Can we call that "a failure of the blue ocean strategy"?

Mr. Huge Johnsons(are you sure that you are not Hugh Johnsons?):
Your article is quite informative. I went to check the price of Inglenook this afternoon.
Amazing!! Its price is lower than new world's(south earth) wines or pretty much like purified water's price.
What a pitty on their failure!!

October 29, 2005 2:33 AM  
Blogger Huge said...

"are you sure that you are not Hugh Johnsons(sic)?"

um, yeah, I'm pretty sure.

October 31, 2005 3:21 PM  

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