According to reports in the US media, the Hollywood film director, Francis Ford Coppola, is to pay $31.5 to acquire the Cohn Vineyard wine business in California's Napa Valley. The purchase would give Coppola victory in an extended bidding war with Robert Mondavi.

The deal would mean Coppola would be paying an estimated $350,000 an acre for the vineyard which is renowned as one of the best areas in the Napa to grow Cabernet Sauvignon.

That record price per acre has led some analysts to suggest that Coppola, who has more than 30 years experience as a vineyard owner, is paying too much for Cohn. The nearby Suscol Bench Vineyard was sold recently for around $60,000 per acre.