Toasting a Lifetime of Winemaking with Francis Ford Coppola

Oct. 1, 2019

Coppola Lifetime Achievement Award


Even if he had never once sat behind the camera on a movie set, Francis Ford Coppola would still be a legend. Of course, he is a household name as a six-time Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter, the driving force behind cinematic masterpieces such as the Godfather films and Apocalypse Now, but Coppola is also a multi-talented entrepreneur who has devoted four decades of his career to elevating and promoting the art of winemaking through his own brand, Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma.

Over the years since its founding, our friends at the Coppola Winery have racked up an impressive trophy case, and this month they proudly announced that Wine Enthusiast magazine has honored Coppola himself with their 2019 Wine Enthusiast Lifetime Achievement Award.

Wine is so much more than a beverage. Its a romance, a story, a drama. All of those things that are involved in putting on a show. - Francis Ford Coppola

From the company’s headquarters in beautiful Geyserville, CA, Coppola has built his family’s winery into a globally recognized player in wine, one which is constantly innovating and breaking new ground in the wine industry. Coppola has grown a broad portfolio of wines, drawn from a selection of the most prestigious American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), and also found new and exciting ways to bring these wines to consumers, such as canned wine, something which Coppola was the first to pioneer back in 2004.

With this award, which honors the individuals and companies that have made outstanding achievements in the wine and alcohol beverage world, Coppola joins an exclusive cohort of past winners, including icons such as Robert Mondavi, Ernest and Julio Gallo, and Jess Jackson. The 2019 awards also carry an extra layer of meaning, as this year Wine Enthusiast celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Wine Star Awards.

It's rare when someone achieves phenomenal success in two such diverse and creative fields as cinema and winemaking, but this speaks to the genius of Francis Ford Coppola.
- Adam Strum, Chairman and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast

Adam Strum, Chairman and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast, added his take on the award in a recent statement, saying "It's rare when someone achieves phenomenal success in two such diverse and creative fields as cinema and winemaking, but this speaks to the genius of Francis Ford Coppola.” He continued, "Over the decades, he has deftly increased worldwide awareness of California wines while at the same time taking on a forward-thinking, historic role for Napa Valley with the restoration of Inglenook back to its former glory. In Sonoma County, he has led the way by creating a family-friendly environment for people to experience the joys of wine country at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. His bold moves have had a major impact on the future of the wine business."

Director’s Commentary
Never one to be at a loss for words, Coppola himself weighed in on how significant this award is to him, saying, "I'm humbled by this recognition. I'd always entertained the idea of having enough land to grow some grapes and make a little bit of homemade wine to share with friends, as my grandfather and uncles had done when I was growing up. In the mid-1970s this became a reality for my family and now with 40 years in winemaking, quality and authenticity of our wines are particularly important because our name is on the label. You can trust that we stand by it. If it's a wine, we enjoy drinking it together."

Keep an eye out for Wine Enthusiast’s “Best of Year” issue, coming November 14, for more on Coppola’s Wine Star Lifetime Achievement Award, and others who topped the industry this year. Mr. Coppola will also be honored in person at the 20th Annual Wine Star Awards, a black tie gala in January 2020 in San Francisco. In the meantime, we encourage wine lovers everywhere to raise a toast with a glass, or can, of wine from the Coppola family’s incredible portfolio.

Talk to your Breakthru Sales Consultant to add Coppola wines to your business.

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