If you’re a movie buff who also enjoys consuming wine, may we suggest you add a visit to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville – located on the Sonoma County side of California’s most famous Wine County – to your bucket list? In fact, adding it to your 2014 Summer Fun to do list may be an even better idea. Read on and see if you agree.
Rest assured: it’s not like you need to be a star-struck Coppola fan to enjoy an excellent experience at the winery that bears the famous director’s name. Quite the contrary, actually; there are a variety of things to do and lots of fun to be found.
In addition to the affordable-and-enjoyable wine selection and the movie “museum,” you may want to check out the lovely on-site restaurant (RUSTIC, which serves Coppola’s favorite recipes and offers a patio with stunning Alexander Valley views) as well as the winery’s extremely popular summertime pool-cabine-sundeck-cafe outdoor entertainment area – with bocce ball courts, to boot! (You can read more about the Coppola Winery Pool 2014 summer schedule and pricing here.)
Francis Ford Coppola Winery offers tours, too, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn some of them are quite unique. Check out the bottling “factory tour” or perhaps the “Tasting in the Dark” experience will intrigue you. The latter is offered on a limited basis; you can learn the exact dates and times here.
Once you arrive (the winery is a mere hour-and-a-half drive from San Francisco), you can kick back and enjoy a glass of vino. Squint a bit behind your sunglasses and let your movie-magic imagination take you on holiday… to Italy, perhaps… and just have fun. Many find a day spent enjoying people you love, surrounded by such exquisite natural beauty and with California-style “la dolce vita” food-and-wine bounty on offer, can be more restorative than a week’s vacation.
Unlike the typical winery experience, this “wine wonderland” (Mr. Coppola’s words) is a place where you can bring the family and plan to spend the whole day. And, it’s not a family-only place, either. Read through some of the Yelp reviews and you’ll soon see just about everyone has a good time at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
If you’re a fan of the movies Coppola helped create in his 50-year-plus film career – from 1970’s ‘Patton’ (for which he won his first Oscar, but for screenwriting) to ‘The Godfather’ franchise films, his enchanting ‘Tucker: A Man and His Dreams’ in 1988, the decidedly different ‘Bram Stroker’s Dracula’ in 1992 and a host of others – you’re in for a treat.
Arranged and displayed more as furnishings in the two-story visitor’s center, you’ll begin viewing Coppola’s extensive movie-career collection when you enter the check-in area. That WPA-style painting with workers parading and declaring “where there’s a will, there’s a way” – it’s from the ‘Tucker’ production. Inside, however, you’ll find an even bigger ‘Tucker’ souvenir: a car – and a very cool car at that! Then there’s Vito Corleone’s desk from the ‘Godfather’ (which may or may not be haunted by the ghost of Marlon Brando), and there are even items from some Sofia Coppola movies (‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘Somewhere’). Knowing Mr. Coppola’s appreciation for family, one can safely assume Gia Coppola’s (his granddaughter) recent film ‘Palo Alto’ will soon be represented in this fantastic collection.
Take a peek at some of the movie memories (and other goodies) at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in this article’s slideshow.
And how do you end a perfect day at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery? You might consider ordering “Mrs. Scorsese’s Lemon Chicken” – one of Francis’ favorite recipes on RUSTIC’s dinner menu (this one from director Martin Scorsese’s mother), accompanied by a bottle of the winery’s Director’s Cut series in the varietal of your choice.
How does that sound? Are you ready for some summertime fun at Francis Ford Coppola Winery?
[Thanks to flickr’s Vander Muniz for letting us use his wonderful, Creative Commons-licensed Francis Ford Coppola Winery photos.]