Francis Ford Coppola Winery Review
Address: 300 Via Archimedes Geyserville,California 95441.
Phone Number: 707-857-1400
Tasting Hours: 11:00-6:00
Region: Sonoma County, Alexander Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Denise Gangnes
Review Date: 3/22/2012
Reviewer: Denise Gangnes
A winery worthy of the Godfather himself, Francis Ford Coppolas newest facility is a massive spectacle just off Highway 101 in Geyserville, California. Its well worth a visit. No matter your age, theres something here for everyone. After all, how many wineries can boast an Olympic sized swimming pool?
The Place:  Coppolas fascination with the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen was the inspiration for the winerys design, and we agree the complex has achieved his dream of a place where people of all ages can enjoy the best things in life food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances a place to celebrate the love of life.” Its a challenge accommodating the throngs of visitors that arrive each day, so numerous outdoor spaces offer sun bathing, swimming, bocce ball, dining and nibbling in addition to wine tasting. Movie artifacts are scattered throughout the facility from films like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and Marie Antoinette (directed by Sophia Coppola).
The Experience:  The large primary tasting bar is located front and center on the 1st floor of the main building, although private tastings and backup bars are options for visitor overflow. Public tours are popular and include highlights of Coppolas vision for the winery and legendary film making career. Reservations are recommended. An outdoor music and entertainment pavilion was inspired by the band shell from TheGodfather: Part II and features the original mural displayed in the 1974 film. And of course theres the pool, which opens in early April and can be enjoyed by renting a Cabine, complete with chairs, wine and food pairings.
The Wines: A menu of tasting options is available, from complimentary pours of the two most basic vintages, to the more popular $7 flights of whites and reds, to $55 blindfold tastings of mouthwatering reds. With more than 40 vintages produced at the facility, theres plenty to choose from. We liked the Reserve Syrah 2009 for $34 and the Directors Cut Zinfandel for $35. If your pocketbook is bulging, take home a Reserve Cab 2005 Magnum for $91.
Sustainability isnt cheap, but Coppola is both family- and earth-friendly. All 24 planted acres are sustainably farmed and fruit only purchased from growers who offer certified organic produce. Coppola also has many other sustainable practices in place to protect the land he has come to call home.
Insiders Tip:  The day we visited, the winerys full service restaurant, RUSTIC, was packed, with a half dozen hopefuls waiting for a table. Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., it has an enviable reputation for delectable family style cooking and Argentinian specialties. An ideal afternoon would involve enjoying a meal on the lavish outdoor terrace overlooking Alexander Valley. If seating is not available, a bar adjacent to the restaurant also serves cocktails; an outdoor facility serves pizzas and lighter fare.