Sunday, August 31, 2014

Do what you love - you'll be better at it! - Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola said it best about his winery, "A wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life - food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types.  A place to celebrate the love of life."  He was certainly right!  We had already planned a visit to the Coppola winery and were delighted to also be invited to enjoy a wonderful complimentary seated flight especially of some of their fantastic reserve wines (thanks again to the advice from Carolyn at Cline Winery in Sonoma and her daughter Jeannine)!  We tasted and brought home some of their Director's Cut- which you cannot buy in stores- and it was divine!  

You can also experience an incredible hosted wine tour which can include the Coppola winery by checking out Jenn's Wine Shop in Carrollwood just north of Tampa, FL where they also have a great shop and carry some wonderful brands and offer great advice! 

Coppola's awesome and knowledgeable staff walked us through the different notes and gave us the background stories on the types and names and history of the different wines.

My favorite was the Eleanor which I will patiently wait to open when the perfect evening arrives.

 In addition to the magnificent wines (of which a large variety of tasting and tour options are available) there is a beautiful museum of Coppola's movie memorabilia as well as a gift shop to peruse.  Francis' film making career spans five decades and they have several of his academy awards and endless pieces of his collection.  Much of the memorabilia is placed throughout the grounds so you can enjoy it while tasting or making your way to their restaurant or pool.  Two large boats are on display which were props from Sofia Coppola's 2006 film Marie Antoniette which are replicas of 18th century vessels- a beauty to behold. 

 Don Corleone’s original desk from The Godfather, was there- ripe for our touristy photos!

The original automobile from Tucker: The Man and His Dream was rotating impressively on a turntable in the middle of the gift shop.  

There is even more fun to be had at the winery, as they offer a huge pool and cabanas for daily use.  Here is a photo from their website showing the expansive cabana options.

Then we dined at their beautiful restaurant onsite called Rustic - it was wonderful; their calzone was gigantic and full of flavor!  

The views were breathtaking!  

 I am sharing with you one of their wonderful recipes from their restaurant, Rustic- and then I want to tell you about our beautiful bed and breakfast stay.
Photo from as shared on pinterest.
Apple Jam & Ham Melt

  • 4 slices of Pumpernickel bread, toasted
  • 16 thin slices of smoked cut ham
  • 1 cup grated Havarti cheese
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 ½ TB butter
  • 3 green apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

    In a microwave safe bowl, combine chopped apples, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover and cook on high for 3 minutes. Let apples cool before putting into blender; pulse until smashed. Return apple smash to bowl, cover and cook 2 more minutes in microwave. Stir in nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cool and store until ready.
    Thinly slice onion and sauté in butter until soft and browned. Set aside. On a foil lined baking sheet create four ham stacks of sliced ham and top with grated cheese. Place in 375° oven 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
    Toast bread slices. Smear with apple jam. Use a spatula and remove melted ham stack from baking sheet and place atop jam. Top with sautéed onions and serve hot.  Find other great recipes on their ‘Chef for Everyday Life’ Pinterest board.   
    We went on to enjoy a magnificent yet very comortable bed and breakfast in walking distance of downtown Napa.  Behold the Churchill Manor!
    Dimitri was an absolutely gracious host and we were delighted with the home, stunning rooms, gracious grounds and fantastic nightly social hour of wines, cheeses and snacks and then there was the breakfasts...

    This was our room for one of the nights - the Stag's Leap room.
    Photo from
    It was setup for relaxation after a rough day at the vineyards.
    Photo from
    Check out the gorgeous mural over our tub! 
    The grounds were so pretty with wraparound porches and they host many weddings in the courtyard. 

    We also stayed one night in the Tulocay room which was beautiful as well.  The fireplace helped us drift off to sleep.

    Photo from
      Breakfast gave us two entree options as well as fresh fruit and our option to bring some bubbly to toast to 21 years together! 


    The hospitality was A-plus!   We had options of using their complimentary tandem bikes for a short a short ride to the river or downtown and they made great recommendations for us for dining and tastings.  We highly recommend Churchill Manor when you are visiting Napa!  

    Wine Country Visitors Tip:  Be sure to check with your B&B about tasting passes and coupons- we were able to score many passes that saved us hundreds in tasting fess for around Napa!  

    If you haven't yet read my previous posts about our adventures in Sonoma and the beautiful train rider down from Portland, check them out here.

    Until next time California - CHEERS!!  

    What has been your favorite place to go out in Wine Country - share the great ideas in the comment section below - and if you haven't been where do you want to go the most?   -