Winemaking has been a Coppola family tradition for several generations. Agostino Coppola, Francis Coppola's grandfather, used to make wine in the basement of his New York apartment building using concrete vats he constructed himself. According to Francis's Uncle Mikey, they weren't fancy wines, just pleasant everyday drinking wines that anyone could enjoy.
The wines that Francis Coppola makes today aren't the same as those Agostino made, but they are produced in the same spirit—for sharing with friends and family.
Over 35 years ago, when Francis and Eleanor Coppola and their kids were living in San Francisco, the family began looking for a small cottage in Napa Valley that they could use as a weekend retreat where they could make a little homemade wine. The family cottage they found turned out to be the great Niebaum Mansion in Rutherford, on the famed Inglenook Estate. Suddenly, the prospect of restoring that legendary property sounded far more exciting than making a little bit of wine in the basement.
Once they had successfully accomplished the estate's restoration—a 30-year endeavor—the Coppola family decided to build a new winery in Sonoma County so that at long last they could create a home for their ever-popular Diamond Collection and Rosso & Bianco wine brands. Since these wines have always reflected the gracious style of everyday living, Francis Ford Coppola Winery is now the ideal place for friends and family to enjoy our award-winning wines, enjoy a bite to eat, and simply relax in a comfortable, casual setting.
"I've always been influenced by the idea of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, which was the inspiration for ultimately all modern amusements parks. I remember the beautiful theater pavilions with the curtains painted with peacock feathers that had little ballet performances. At Tivoli, there were rides, but more important than the rides were the cafes and the refreshments, and just the sense of being in a children’s garden, a ‘pleasure garden’ for all people to enjoy – which perhaps is the best phrase to describe what we’re creating here. This vision was replicated at places on Coney Island, like Luna Park, and George C. Tilyou’s Steeplechase Park, or Palisades Park. These were basically wonderlands, and I thought Francis Ford Coppola Winery could become such a park for the family to go and enjoy, where there are things for kids to do, so they can be close to their parents who are sampling wines and foods.
I’ve often felt that modern life tends to separate all the ages too much. In the old days, the children lived with the parents and the grandparents, and the family unit each gave one another something very valuable. So when we began to develop the idea for this winery, we thought it should be like a resort, basically a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life."
-Francis Ford Coppola