Monday, March 7, 2011

Travel Tip: Francis Ford Coppola Winery

With the recent viewing of the Oscars, I felt like it was appropriate to highlight Francis Ford Coppola Winery.  I have to admit that this is one of those wineries that I was just longing to go to because I'm obsessed with the movies.  I believe Mr. Coppola's vision for Francis Ford Coppola Winery was to create an all-day one-stop winery where families could gather for fun.  Complete with a newly built swimming pool and is very own restaurant, you could really enjoy a day here no matter what season you are visiting.

This image is difficult to see, but this is the Entrance into the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. 
The winery is directly underneath the entry-way.
(Photo by author)

Welcome to Francis Ford Coppola Winery
(Photo by author)

Francis Ford Coppola is conveniently located off Highway 101 in the northern part of Sonoma County.  So you are out of the Napa Valley and capable of enjoying several wine varieties other than Cabernet Sauvignon.  Plus, *BONUS* if you have the kids, they will probably enjoy this winery because there are things for them to do.  Fun for all!

But what's fun about Francis Ford Coppola winery is all the stuff from the movies.  My personal favorite, The Tucker:

The Tucker
(Photo by author)

Which, if you haven't seen the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream, I highly recommend it.  Watch the trailer below.  =)

Movie Poster
(Photo from Google Images)

Of course, there was a lot to find from The Godfather series, as Francis Ford Coppola was the director behind the the phenomenon.  If you've never watched The Godfather series, I strongly encourage you to watch those films as well.  In fact, the house where the movies were filmed is currently on the market!

Desk and Lamps from The Godfather
(Photo by author)

The Phone from The Godfather
(Photo by author)

On the second floor of the winery, Sophia Coppola's movie Marie Antoinette was being featured.  I absolutely love this film, and encourage you to watch it if you get a chance.  As Francis Ford Coppola Winery produces the Sophia wine series, this part of the winery was exclusively themed around the femininity of Sophia and her movies.  I truly enjoyed the Marie Antoinette theme that was passing through the winery when we visited.

The model ships that are featured 5 seconds in Marie Antoinette 
(Photo by author)

Apothecary Jars - part of the Marie Antoinette theme
(Photos by author)

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette - this picture was used in the film
(Photo by author)

And of course, you can't forget the Oscars!!  I was absolutely floored that these things were featured here.  I hope they were real!!!

Francis Ford Coppola's awards
(Photo by author)

As I mentioned earlier, there is a pool and restaurant that can be enjoyed by all.  We didn't have a chance to enjoy the pool during the month of January when we visited the winery, but we did eat at Rustic, the restaurant attached to the winery.  We were greatly surprised at the quality of the food, and for California, I believe the prices were incredibly reasonable.  We enjoyed the Cobb salad as a starter and shared a Pizza Vesuvio, which is a pizza calzone - half the pizza is in the inside, the pizza crust is then folded, and extra pizza toppings are on the top part of the "calzone."  Loved it!  And let's not forget the Pettole - the little fried Italian donuts!  Yuuuuuuuummmmmm....  If you are lucky enough, you can grab an outside seat that overlooks some of the vineyards - absolutely romantic!

The swimming pool at Francis Ford Coppola Winery
(Photo by author)

The view from our seats at Rustic
(Photo by author)

And after spending a day at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, you can leave with a magical light display.  A perfect way to end a day with family fun, food, and wine.  :)

The Winery at Dusk
(Photo by author)

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