Wine tasting and swimming at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery!

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The Francis Ford Coppola Winery takes the whole California wine tasting experience to a whole new level. In addition to fabulous wine for adults, think swanky swimming pools to help keep the kids occupied.

Francis Coppola wanted to make sure that the whole family could enjoy the nice things in life. After watching children beg their parents to allow them to jump into the fountain at his Inglenook winery in Napa, three years ago he incorporated swimming pools into his Alexander Valley wine wonderland.

We recently visited and rented a Deauville-style “cabine” – where you can change, store your belonging and shower in privacy after swimming. It also includes swim passes, chaise lounge chairs, towels and 4 wine tastings. Tip: The cabines are very popular, so make sure you reserve one in advance.

Francis Ford Copolla Winery - swimming %22cabines%22

We got there right when they opened at 11 and picked lounges near the pool cafe and wine tasting area and settled in. There were two lifeguards guards on duty. The girls quickly found a tee-pee which was full of kids books to borrow and read. My 8-year-old found a vintage copy of The Boxcar Children, which she was very pleased about.

Francis Ford Copolloa winery - teepee with books!

If there is swimming space available, you don’t have to rent a cabine, just pay the $20 fee and there’s a small grassy area you can put your towel. If you tire of swimming, try 1 of 4 Bocce ball courts. Ask reception for a ball and get started! You can’t bring in outside food or drink, but ice cold water available all day at mini cabines in corners of the pool.

Francis Ford Copolla Winery - swimming pool

We had lunch at the Rosso & Bianco Pool Café and ordered Pizza Funghi e Salsiccia (house made Italian sausage, sauted mushrooms, mozzarella and grated parmigiana cheese.); a Cobb salad with hearts of romaine, tomatoes, deiced ham, turkey, beets, egg, beacon, gorgonzola, avocado and balsamic vinaigrette and a breakfast crepe with ham Swiss cheese and scrambled eggs.

Francis Ford Copolla - sipping Lemonade by the pool

You can eat at the cafe, or have the cabana boys bring it to you at your lounge chair. There’s a museum with Ford Coppola memorabilia – including the desk from the opening scene of The Godfather.
It’s a fabulous way to spend a day. We went between wine tasting and grazing throughout the day while the girls swam and read books in the Alexander Valley sunshine.

Francis Ford Copolla - wine tasting

The bouncy Kate helped us to our wine tastings. The Family flight is included in the cabine package, and lets you try four wines:

  • 2012 Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc (lemon, grapefruit, passion fruit, melon, honey and figs)
  • 2012 Sofia Rosa (named after Copolla’s daughter (pomegranate, lavender, candied orange peep, cherry and tea leaves)
  • 2012 Diamond Collection Malbec (my fav)  with hints of plum, berry, cassis, cherry, anise, espresso and early mineral tones
  • 2012 Votre Sante Chateau Red (leather (really), minerals, black cherry, currant and plum).

Oh, and there’s free wifi for guests. Handy for wine-sta-gramming.

We loved it. We stayed there all day swimming and tasting wine. It felt like we were at a five-star resort (without the rooms) and enjoying the good life.

If you go:

Francis Ford Coppola Winery 300 Via Archimedes Geyserville, CA 95441 +1 (707) 857-1400 $125 to rent a cabine for the day, includes 4 wine tastings, 4 lounge chairs and towels. Kids smoothie tastings on the weekends.

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch 738 Main St St Helena +1 (707) 963-9181 Great food and responsible farming.

Quality Inn Petaluma 5100 Montero Way Petaluma, CA 94954
(707) 664-1155 There are closer places to stay, but we wanted to explore a few Sonoma wineries.

Nicholson Ranch Winery 4200 Napa Rd Sonoma, CA 95476 +1(707) 938-8822 Winemaker owned and run! Sip one of their signature Pinots or Chardonnays while sitting in a comfortable deck chair looking over a lake and golden hills. Worth the trip.

Walker’s Apples 10955 Upp Rd  Graton, CA 95444 +1 (707) 823-4310 This apple farm has 27 varities of apples, and you can “try before you buy”. In August, it is worth the trip to get a box of Gravenstein apples, quite possible the best in the world and a local secret.

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  1. 25/03/2016 / 05:17

    Wine lovers would love to come at this place. Swimming while having a tasty wine sure is enough to spend your summer days. A satisfying event that will make you love wine much more. Going to a place like this with your friends will sure to give you a relaxing day at the pool.

  2. 24/10/2013 / 18:44

    I would LOVE to go there, looks amazing! *adds to list*

  3. 18/09/2013 / 13:42

    It´s such a good combination!!
    Really good idea.

  4. 29/08/2013 / 12:17

    This looks and sounds amazing. It’s surprising when you think about it that no one else has combined swimming for the kids with proper winetasting for adults. Would love to book it.

  5. Susanna
    25/08/2013 / 15:28

    There’s lots there from the film too, in the museum. X

  6. 25/08/2013 / 12:30

    That sounds like an amazing day out, followed by a gorgeous lunch and some spectacular wine?? Perfect!! 🙂

  7. Mums do travel
    25/08/2013 / 10:14

    What a fabulous place! My husband’s Sicilian and is pretty into The Godfather films, as well as wine – he’d love it here.

  8. 24/08/2013 / 23:40

    LOVE those salads. x

  9. 24/08/2013 / 23:39

    It certainly was a highlight of our trip. x

  10. 24/08/2013 / 23:39

    You would love it. x

  11. Andrea @loveandcake
    24/08/2013 / 21:22

    Looks AMAZING!

  12. Emma
    24/08/2013 / 20:53

    This sounds like my kind of heaven, let the kids swim whilst drink wine. I need this in my life!

  13. Susanna
    24/08/2013 / 20:20

    They have smoothies too!

  14. 24/08/2013 / 20:16

    What an amazing place to visit! I am a complete light-weiggt so would be no good at a wine tasting but it looks fascinating

  15. 24/08/2013 / 19:57

    Oh you would love it. I think you can even get Gin.

  16. Mammasaurus
    24/08/2013 / 19:15

    This looks awesome, I’ve always fancied going wine tasting but have never been. This is like a whole different world I’ve yet to discover but really want to having read this!