Francis Ford Coppola Presents filed suit in November in state court in Napa County against cork and bottle manufacturer Vinocor USA, alleging that Vinocor ruined 55,000 cases of the company’s wines. The wines, part of Coppola’s “Encyclopedia” series, feature uniquely shaped bottles and caps and are meant to serve as a guide to various international growing regions and varietals. But Coppola alleges that the bottles and caps that Vinocor sold it turned the wine into so much vinegar. The company is seeking its money back and unspecified damages for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.
Coppola, represented by former Litigator of the Week Barry Lee of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, alleges that it paid Vinocor more than $685,000 for special flask-like bottles, screw-caps, and packaging for its Encyclopedia collection in 2008. In return, the company says it received chipped and deformed bottles and defective caps from Vinocor that “materially degraded or destroyed” virtually the entire 55,000 cases it bottled due to oxidation.
We called Lee to talk wine and litigation and to find out who was representing Vinocor, but we didn’t immediately hear back.