Francis Ford Coppola is a director, producer, and screenwriter. He became wealthy by writing and directing films such as The Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now, Patton, The Outsiders, and Dracula. While he is considered to be one of the most iconic figures in the industry, he did not earn his massive fortune from it. Did you know what Coppola did after retiring from the film industry?
Francis Ford Coppola made more money from wine than he did from films. Coppola’s two wineries are located in Geyserville, California, in Sonoma County, and produce vino that honors the director’s film and family history.
Francis Coppola, The Wine Don
Winemaking is a family tradition for Coppolas. Coppola’s grandfather and uncle used to make homemade wine in the basement of their family’s New York apartment when he was a kid. Starting a winery and producing internationally distributed wines may seem like a big step from humble beginnings, but going big was the only way for the six-time Academy Award winner and famous director.
Francis Coppola has 36 director credits to his name throughout his career. While this is an impressive tally, he has produced more than double that number of wines, with a selection of nearly 80 varieties.
Coppola directed The Godfather in 1972, and it won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1973. In 1974, he led the sequel, and the following year, he purchased the Niebaum Estate which was part of the legendary Inglenook property in Napa Valley, where the family still makes wine today.
He applied for a winery license in 1978, and the Coppola family wine business began in 1979 under the name Niebaum-Coppola. The film Apocalypse Now was released in the same year, earning Coppola the Academy Award for Best Director in 1980. However, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery brand was not fully established until July of 2010. (Source: Wine Magazine)
Francis Ford Coppola and the Two Coppola Wineries
There are two wineries associated with the brand; Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery Too! Which was previously known as the Virginia Dare Winery. The wineries, each offered a different wine and even a cider. And the locations are a five-minute drive apart. Both have all the amenities you’d expect when visiting a winery, such as wine tastings and scenic views. They do, however, provide much, much more.
Two pools, bocce ball courts, a marketplace, and two restaurants are available at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Private events for up to 300 people can also be held on the estate. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery, too, is great for oenophiles in love! Weddings are often hosted here.
Inside the winery, the movie gallery is a mini-museum filled with movie memorabilia, from some of Coppola’s Academy Awards to Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather. Other artifacts are scattered throughout the estate so visitors can check out the attractions while sipping on some vino. (Source: Wine Magazine)
The Godfather of Canned Wines
When it released its Sofia Blanc de Blancs mini cans in 2004, the brand made a splash, and many publications credited Coppola with being the first to popularize wine in cans.
Canned wine has been around since the 1930s and was nearly extinct by the 1980s. So, while Coppola did not invent the practice of canning wines, he did start the modern trend. (Source: Wine Magazine)