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An afternoon Francis Ford Coppola’s Vineyard

by Tony Creech on Thursday, April 2, 2009

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Last Wednesday:
Spent the afternoon drinking some great wine and touring Francis Ford Coppola’s main vineyard, Rubicon.

[He recently renamed it, removing his last name from the label, since everyone was buying it because of his famous status, and coming to the vineyard like it was Disneyland, so he changed the name and starting charging something like 25 dollars to even get out of your car on his estate. He only wants serious wine people to come. The name Rubicon comes from the famous river crossed by Julius Caesar and his army, seeing they had passed the “point of no return”]

Francis acquired one of the oldest vineyards in Napa, with vines that are 2nd generation from a 1st generation vineyard in Bordeaux, France. He has bought up the property that had been split up. Rubicon Estate Winery is the very winery of the infamous Finnish sea-captain Gustave Niebaum, who many Canadians learn about in school, since he started the Alaska Commercial Company and was the worlds leading fur trader, before buying the estate in Napa and producing the first Bordeaux style winery in the US. He took these U.S. wines, undervalued at the time, to the Worlds Fair in Paris in 1889, and won numerous Gold Medals

Coppola continues that tradition with their house wine, the Bordeaux style ‘Rubicon’, which is very tasty indeed.

We got to tour the vineyard behind the scenes via my sweet friend Lamar (he happens to be a manager, and Canadian, Briercrest alum – you might know him from the band Wooky)and get a view (far off) of their mansion. things we a tiny but hectic, since it’s Francis’ Birthday in a few days. Lamar knows his history, and satisfied our minds with the historic place, while enchanting our taste-buds with the Rubicon Wines

I tried a Cabernet Franc, only from 2006, but it was quite deadly, and had an incredible nose on it. I was very pleasantly surprised. I think my next wine love affair will be with Cab Franc… when i can afford it. I also had an astoundingly good Cabernet Sauvignon from 2005 that spent 2 years in American Oak, and rocked my socks off, as well as their tasty Bordeaux style Blend “Rubicon”.

Bottle prices ranged as low as $9, though most are between 40-100$ or higher, and a number on the regular list are in the thousands. The highest on the list was over $5,000, served over the counter. Kind of hope you get a neat box for that. They have very old wine in the cellar, from the 1800’s.

I also got to see some sweet historical stuff, like a wine barrel that was from the 1500’s, and had these carvings of monks on it and stuff, i got to touch it and slap it around like a small red-headed child. awesome. I also got to see the very first tasting room to exist in Napa, it’s the first door to your right when you enter the Chateau. Cool.

I did get to see some cool stuff like one of his Academy Awards, a Golden Globe award, some other awards for filmmaking, music, writing etc. As well as an antique collection of ‘light boxes’ early film stuff and pre-film motion picture machines and such… Amazing.

Francis Runs a magazine called Zoetrope: All Story that has recently featured art by Guillermo Del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hell Boy I and II, and others, like the up-coming Hobbit films) and they had, only a week or so ago had a Magazine release where they had Guillermo’s original art displayed there.
I missed the Guillermo show, but I got a free copy of the magazine.

A video I found with an interesting quote from Francis

Tony Creech
anthony thomas creech is Founder of Citadel Magazine. He's a marketing executive, filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, and university lecturer on film, audio, media, and faith. You can find him at thecreechleague.com
1 Comments
Leave a response
  • Swynn
    Friday, April 10, 2009 at 12:14 am

    >Ok, I’m very offended by this comment:

    “i got to touch it and slap it around like a small red-headed child.”

    Umm….explanation please?

    I am a lil jealous of you going to that beatuiful place though. Hope u took pics if it was allowed and u should email me em. just to make up for that comment of urs.

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