Godfather film director sues wine packaging supplier

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

A company created by film director Francis Ford Coppola is suing Suberus-owned packaging supplier Vinocor USA over allegations its wine bottles and screwcaps were faulty.

Better known for film classics like Apocalypse Now ​and the Godfather, ​Coppola is also the creator of a lifestyle company called Francis Ford Coppola Presents.


That business has filed a lawsuit in a Californian court alleging that Vinocor USA is responsible for ruining 55,000 cases of wine by supplying faulty bottles and screwcaps.

Coppola Presents alleges that many of the bottles were chipped, bent or uneven, and that caps were all too often unsuitable for use.

In its lawsuit, the company claims that “virtually all of the wine” ​made from the Vinocor packaging was materially degraded or destroyed. It is therefore seeking unspecified damages.

Around $685,000 was paid to Vinocor from Coppola Presents last year following an order for customised bottles and oversized caps made in 2007.

Coppola Presents ordered the packaging for its Encyclopedia​ wine collection, which was launched to educate consumers about how geography, history, food and religion have all contributed to wine making and enjoyment.

Response from Vinocor

Responding to the allegations Luis Pinto, executive of Suberus, said the Vinocor business was the “entire responsibility” ​of Alberto Oliveira, who has now left his position as general manager to set up his own company Premiere Impression.

Pinto added that the glass bottles and screwcaps in question were manufactured in China “with all accordance, agreement and collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola Presents (FFC) and Alberto Oliveira together with Terry Borges as ex- Sales Manager.”

“FFC with their responsables, went to China to see the producers and the products to confirm the quality. All the quality parameters requested by FFC were always agreed by both parts, FFC and Vinocor USA and consequently accepted.”

As for the next legal moves, Pinto said: “Our lawyers are taking care of the action and will respond very soon.”

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