The New Francis Ford Coppola Winery
The WinoTripping Review
After wondering aimlessly around the loft for a bit I was greeted by Neal Coats who set us up at the upstairs bar for a tasting before we toured the rest of the property. I was interested in trying some of the Pinot Noir, particularly the Dutton Ranch Pinot from the Russian River Valley, one of my favorite California Pinot growing areas. I was happy to taste that it was less fruity and more earthy, with bigger tannins than I expected. Very nice. My other favorite California Pinot Noir growing region is the Sonoma Coast, and Coppola has his Director's Pinot Noir from this area. A beautifully light raspberry jam Pinot that I absolutely loved.
Neal explained that the Francis Ford Coppola Winery features wines made from purchased grapes, in contrast to Rubicon Estate which grows all it's own grapes. This allows Coppola to use grapes grown in their perfect climate from all over Northern California. I also enjoyed a red blend called Cinema, with it's fancy wound label, (put on by an even fancier machine in the bottling room). It's a big red tailor made for pasta or BBQ - a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Zinfandel, 12% Cab Franc, and 2% Petite Sirah. This baby has some gripping tannins that you won't soon forget.
I also had a taste of the premium Cab blend called Archimedes (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc). A bold red with bold tannins, sweet oak, and licorice tones.
After the tasting we took the tour. Neal started by leading me down a long hall that overlooked the pool area. He pointed out the band shell designed as a replica of the one featured in Godfather II, (see photo), and the Bocci Courts. There is a pool cafe, where wine and food is served, and small cabins with showers for rent by the pool so you can keep all your stuff lock away while enjoying the amenities. Maybe spend a day by the pool, do a little wine tasting, have a snack at the pool cafe, then shower and change for dinner at Rustic, the exclusive restaurant on the premises.
The Photo to the right shows views of the rental cabin at the pool. It's not a Vegas-style cabana, but instead an old-school bath house situation, but really, really clean. You can see the private shower and spacious changing area. The idea is that you spend the entire day there.
We'll have to wait and see what kind of crowd this public pool will attract. They didn't quite get this thing open before the summer was over, so they didn't really get a chance to see what it'll be like on a hot Sonoma day. I'm a little bit worried. I mean, look... there's the potential for hot sun, alcohol, a pool, kids, and big hard balls to throw around. What can possibly go wrong? But believe me, the place looks great.