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Filmmaker Coppola on South Beach
(released 2/22/2005)
By kim burke


Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University are pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the Southern Wine & Spirits of America Lifetime Achievement Award will be Francis Ford Coppola for his passionate commitment to creating world class wines and his exemplary contribution to the wine industry. Southern Wine & Spirits will present the award to the legendary Oscar®-winning producer, director and writer on Sunday, February 27th, at the 2005 SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL presented by Food & Wine Magazine.

For the last thirty years, Francis Ford Coppola has made a name for himself in winemaking as well as filmmaking. In 1975, Coppola purchased the historic Inglenook Estate, including over 1500 acres of land, and renamed it Niebaum-Coppola, joining his name with founder, Gustave Niebaum. Three years later, Coppola produced the Estate's flagship wine, Rubicon, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 1995, Coppola bought the remaining portion of the Inglenook property, as well as the famous Chateau; achieving his dream of restoring the estate to its historic dimensions and reuniting the vineyards. With the crush of 2002 Coppola's dream of reunification was complete. The Rubicon Winery opened on the second floor of the Chateau, the first time wine had been made in the building since 1966. The same year, Niebaum-Coppola's entire 200 acres of vineyard achieved organic certification. "Vintners and epicureans alike respect Francis Ford Coppola for his steadfast commitment to preserving tradition as well as bringing lessons of Napa Valley winemaking to Niebaum-Coppola. It is a pleasure to present him with the Southern Wine & Spirits Lifetime Achievement Award," says Mel Dick, President Wine Division, Southern Wine & Spirits of America.

The award will be presented on Sunday, February 27th, at a Tribute Brunch. In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival will present the Voss Artesian Water Heirloom Award to Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotel and FIU's School of Hospitality & Tourism Management will present the Michael E. Hurst Distinguished Hospitality Leaders Award to Richard J. Schnieders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer SYSCO Corporation. The eminently entertaining Gordon Elliott, host of programs on both the Fine Living Network and the Food Network, will serve as master of ceremonies as he presides over a casually elegant, Tuscan-inspired midday feast prepared by chef Carey Savona of Lucca at the Boca Raton Resort & Club (a Drew Nieporent/Myriad Group restaurant) and Marc Ehrler, executive chef of the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

For Festival information, call 305-460-6563 or visit website

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