With phase one of renovations completed over the summer, Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a family destination, a place where kids can actually enjoy themselves instead of squirming restlessly while parents sip wine. A large and captivating array of Coppola's movie paraphernalia, some of it not displayed publicly until now, engages the attention of anyone interested in popular American culture. More is on the way, too, when phase two adds an amphitheater, a dance floor and more to the estate.
Every Saturday in the fall, the winery hosts Italian Harvest Tours. Limited to 10 guests, tours begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and end with a rustic family-style lunch accompanied by Coppola wines. When your adventure concludes, you might linger by the new pools until dinner. Perhaps your family reserved a caba? and enjoyed a swim while you indulged your inner wine geek. This is one of the extraordinary aspects of Wine Country's newest, most compelling destination: There is something for everyone, the concept that was at the core of Francis Coppola's vision for his new winery.
And then there's the restaurant, Rustic. Inspired both by Coppola's Italian heritage and his world travels, the casual eatery combines his best-loved foods from around the world with family recipes and ingredients from the estate gardens. The heart of the dining room is its parrilla, a traditional Argentine grill, tended by the staff asador, or grill master.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, 707-857-1400, franciscoppolawinery.com. Italian Harvest Tours start at $199 per person.
— Michele Anna Jordan