The movie director remakes a Sonoma County winery for family fun.
Francis Ford Coppola, the director of such movies as Apocalypse Now, The Cotton Club, and The Godfather, has always displayed a bold, outsize vision. Now he’s brought this same epic approach to California’s Sonoma County.
Set near Geyserville on Highway 101, the new Francis Ford Coppola Winery (formerly Chateau Souverain) offers the expected tasting rooms and vineyard tours. But visitors can also swim in a large H-shaped outdoor pool, play bocce ball on regulation courts wrapped by tidy lawns, ogle such movie memorabilia as Colonel Kurtz’s uniform (Apocalypse Now) and Don Corleone’s desk (The Godfather), and enjoy South American–style grilled meats and Neapolitan pizzas at Rustic, Francis’s Favorites, the on-site restaurant. A poolside café introduces a genuine winery innovation: a kids’ menu. While adults sip cabs and zins with a sommelier, kids can sample fruit smoothies with a “smellyier.”
“It puts the emphasis on the whole family,” Coppola says, “and it breaks the boundaries that had previously limited what a winery could offer its guests.” (877) 590-3299, franciscoppolawinery.com .
Photography by Melissa Barnes 
This article was first published in September 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.