Leave it to Francis Ford Coppola to set a scene.
Fade in on the director posed like a seersucker Santa waiting for Christmas. Three! Two! One! The crowd cheers and with a hearty tug, Coppola reveals the name of his new winery: Rosso & Bianco. On cue, the letters buzz to life in a red, neon glow and the satisfied Coppola walks silently off camera, stage left. And-cut.
So okay, it’s no Apocalypse Now. It is, however, a pretty enticing invitation to Frances’ new house in Geyserville, now that some of the dust has settled. BiteClub decided to take some brownies up to the new neighbors.
Though not much has changed outside, the interior has Coppola stamped all over it–from the Marie Antoinette-meets-The Godfather aesthetic (chateau chic with a side of marinara) to literally being peppered with well-wishing graffiti for the director’s recent birthday.
Wine gets the same treatment. Forget about getting any of that schwanky $120 Rubicon stuff here. They don’t sell it. Coppola’s Sonoma outpost is about easy-drinking sippers at paisan prices. At the spaghetti-and-meatballs end are his Bianco and Rosso wines, served free at the tasting bar in tumblers rather than stemware. Sophia bubblers and roses are wine crack for the donnas, all cute and pink and tulle-covered, while the Director’s Cut and funky FC Reserves make a quieter play for your attention.
But wine is only part of the show. Ever the pitchman, Coppola doesn’t miss an opportunity to sell you on his Mammarella line of pasta sauces; copies of his literary magazine, Zoetrope; tasteful goodies inspired by daughter, Sophia; movie memorabilia or his nifty line of Vinoflage clothing. Think camo for the vineyard-set. (The horror.)
Down the hallway, Coppola’s Unnamed Café is a temporary, but serviceable spot to grab a plate of fresh-cooked pasta or a panini on the deck. Plans are in the works for a full-service restaurant in the next year or so, though reviews have been somewhat unkind to his two previous Bay Area brasseries. Fingers crossed. Movie buffs shouldn’t miss Coppola’s Oscar display in the lobby, though most of the director’s film mementos (formerly housed in the Napa winery) aren’t yet on public display. Tours and tasting are offered daily.
Though it’s a bit early to say whether the new Rosso & Bianco Winery will be a SoCo hit or just another bit of Wine Country typecasting, so far it smells like victory. At least in the morning.
Rosso & Bianco Winery, 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, 707.857.1400