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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

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At Francis Ford Coppola Winery, all of our planted acres are sustainably farmed and certified through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program.  Our vineyards use leading water conservation practices including aerial imagery, weather stations, soil monitoring probes, smart scheduling and drip irrigation.  Every drop of water in the winery is used twice, being captured, cleaned and recycled for vineyard irrigation.  Through our integrated pest management program, we promote the biodiversity of our vineyard with beneficial insects, soil fauna, bluebird boxes and owls that combat pests of grapevines.  Soil erosion is prevented through the use of cover crops that also replenish essential nutrients back into the soil.

To further enhance our vineyards and reduce water, we partner with an innovative technology company called Terravion, a real-time aerial imagery service for agriculture. The weekly updates throughout the growing season deliver a birds-eye view of the vineyards in multiple wavelengths. Using this imagery, we’re able to manage vineyard activities, and better pinpoint which areas need irrigation enhancement so that we’re conserving more water.  

In our vineyards we have increased vineyard biodiversity with bird boxes, diversified plant species through cover crop trials, bee hives & improved soil conservation to improve the Russian River watershed fish habitat.  We encourage barn owls, with owl boxes to help protect the land from gophers and provide perches to encourage natural mammalian pest control.  We also have two bee hives on site, with over 10,000 bee pollinators.  We’ve posted bluebird boxes in the protected part of the vineyard to give these insect feeders a home in our estate.   With the active presence of these beneficial insects, owls, raptors, bluebirds and soil fauna to combat pests of grape wines, biodiversity in the vineyard has flourished.

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Francis and Eleanor Coppola have always strongly supported sustainability, in their own lives and their many business endeavors. Their desire for sustainability comes from their commitment to preserve the land for future generations; they want their children and grandchildren to have the opportunity to embrace this beautiful land. For more than forty years, the Coppola family has searched for innovative ways to implement environmentally responsible practices into the vineyards and winemaking techniques to improve efficiency, minimize impacts and create a nurturing habitat for wildlife, on-site staff and visiting guests.

The Coppolas take this commitment to heart, evident at the winery as well as their personal projects. In 2015, as California was feeling the effects of the state’s most severe drought in decades, Mr. Coppola personally requested ideas from each staff member on how to save water at work and at home. Almost immediately, close to 200 suggestions were received, including ideas from his wife. The winery is currently implementing many of these creative suggestions, each of which has a significant impact on our winemaking philosophy and quality wines we produce.

In an ongoing effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we are also members of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership Program, which recognizes us for looking to alternative renewable energy sources for our electricity.

At the winery we source 36% our electricity from renewable sources like geothermal, solar and wind.  That is equivalent to taking 266 cars off the road, the annual energy use of 115 homes or planting 32,354 trees. A significant portion of the renewable electricity we use is generated locally.  In addition we also source over 30% of our electricity from clean hydropower.  We regularly conduct energy audits at the winery to look for opportunities to improve our process and reduce energy use.  Around the winery we incorporate energy efficiency into all our process operations and are continually pursuing opportunities to reduce our energy footprint.

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 Erin Brooks, Pro (United States)  tasted  4 wines  from  Francis Ford Coppola Winery . In a tasting of  16 wines 

The 2019 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvée Cathleen takes time to open up to delicate wafts of white lilac, Meyer lemon, quince peel and sea spray, with hints of beeswax and almonds. The palate offers incredible tension between surprisingly generous fruits and tangy, salty lift. Its expansive, honey-laced flavors linger for an extraordinarily long finish. Wow! It deserves another 2-3 years in bottle at least.

18d 16h ago

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