Built for either the ultimate family experience in wine country or a pool-side cabin trip with your girlfriends, Francis Ford Coppola Winery has more to offer than I even realized. All together the estate boasts a full day’s worth of activities with an endless array of wines – stylistically – to suit anyone’s personal preferences. What’s more?!? With a small questionnaire or note they will customize your tasting accordingly!
Now, when we arrived, our host Lauren greeted us at the gate with a refreshing glass of their Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc, a perfectly crisp white to prepare the palate for what was to come. As she walked us around the premises each room took us into a new adventure. First off, we are cascaded into Francis’ 5 decade-long career in filmmaking with a winery that practically doubles as a museum. Each step we took was a new highlight, from the originals such as the desk from The Godfather, the car from Tuck: The Man and his Dream (way before my time I won’t lie), the wall of oscars, then to the experiences of restaurants, bocce and last but far from least…..the EPIC pool.
The pool is the reason I became aware of their hospitality in the first place. Although, like I said, they have an experience for every age and group size; However, for me, being that I’m a wine-loving Millennial (a self-proclaimed older/wiser Millennial at that), the draw mostly is a day in the sun in a cabine with my girlfriends, Sofia Coppola bubbles in-tow…. Something more for the day-lounger.
The restaurant Rustic also is a must. Like I said on instagram, it boasts one of the best dining views in wine country. Here, Francis has put his touch on the menu which highlights some of his favorite all-time dishes and you can bet they’re all Italian-inspired.
Once we were taken upstairs, my tasting felt ultra special. They greeted me with a Reservation frame and custom menu welcoming me and my guest (which I won’t lie, was my fabulous photographer, Chloe Jackman) and a tailored tasting of some of the wineries most iconic labels. This was a treat b/c aside from what I’ve typically seen in the market, between the Sofia bubbles and the Diamond Collection, I got to really take in the breadth of varietals and vineyards their team currently works with. And one will couldn’t miss the creativity that goes into the details, notably the labels.
The winery, you can sense, is a filmmaker’s dream come to life. A winery that comes from family values and a deep love for a specific place in the world and a winery that wants to share a passion and vision with its guests. No wonder they were named Winery of the Year (!!!) 2017 by the San Francisco International Wine Competition. As they say, mio amico, “Mille Grazie” a mille times over….
The Tasting/My Favorites:
Eleanor: Named after Francis’ wife, this red blend packs a nice punch and has some ageablity for those who like to collect bottles. Inky and dark, black fruits and a wee bit earthy.
Sofia Blanc de Blanc: Just b/c I LOVE Blanc de Blanc…. and this one you can always find in the market, folks.
Director’s Cut, The Final Cut, 100% Malbec: This is a rare find coming from Sonoma and a specialty item you definitely won’t find in the market. A big, bold wine with rich texture, dark fruit, earth and spice. A nice gift for your film-loving friends as you MUST check out the label.
The Director’s Cut line also is the one that stands out to me as it’s Corey Beck’s signature, having a strong representation of place and geographical style which is what I tend to geek out the most on.
Thanks again Margie and Lauren for the hospitality!!
*Reservation Recommended; $$-$$$