FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Korean Air

Lights! Camera! Action! 5 Not-to-Miss Activities at Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery in Geyserville, California

by Rina Nehdar

Feb 28, 2020

Photo: Rina Nehdar

Budget

Our family toured Francis Ford Coppola Winery, the Disneyland of wineries — it’s a shrine to the moviemaking magic of Francis Ford Coppola as much as it is a winery producing 40 varieties of wine.

 

James Luchini, training and development manager, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, has worked with Coppola for 17 years. “He’s very particular about everything he does,” Luchini told us. The winery is located in the city of Geyserville, tucked into the Alexander Valley, in the county in Sonoma. Luchini told us builders carried out everything on the property to the exact specifications detailed by Coppola’s vision.

 

One might say the same creative genius that won Coppola six Academy Awards also created the winery.

 

Movie Memorabilia

As you climb the stone steps to walk through the iron gate into the winery, you feel as if you’ve entered a European estate. Small tasting rooms connect to halls lit up by original movie memorabilia, some glass cases holding original costumes and props from Coppola’s movie sets.

 

“It was Bram Stoker’s Dracula that paid for the construction of this winery,” Luchini said, pointing to an ornate robe once worn by one of the characters. Movie buffs will delight as they reminisce from The Godfather to Apocalypse Now to Tucker, with a full-sized car spinning in one of the two-storied rooms.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery. Photo: Rina Nehdar

 

“Francis insisted that this Tucker needed to spin here and had the room constructed to allow that. It definitely presented some challenges,” Luchini confided, but it all worked out because there it was spinning away, one of only 47 existing Tucker Automobiles from the original 51. Coppola is the owner of two.

 

Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery. Photo: Rina Nehdar

Winery Tour

Tours come with included tastings and if you have kids, board games and puzzles are available for their amusement while you hear about the fascinating stories behind each blend. A walk through the on-site bottling production line will have you never see wine the same way again. Massive 100,000-gallon tanks are perfect for blending, Lachini told us, and there’s a computer program tracing each grape from the moment it’s picked until it’s squashed.

 

Poolside Cabine

One of the things Coppola saw happening at his Napa winery was kids begging parents to splash around in the outside fountain. To make his winery a family-style resort, he built an H-shaped pool in the center of the compound. Kids can swim between the two sides through the middle with a canopy of water spraying overhead. Lounge chairs surround the pool and European-style cabines offer families some privacy and a shower. Rentals include four towels, reserved lounge chairs and poolside restaurant service from the pool café. The pool is open April–October and the Pavilion Shell, a replica from the one in The Godfather: Part II, hosts musicians and entertainers during those months.

 

Francis’s Favorites

Imagine having a restaurant serving all the best dishes you’ve ever eaten as you’ve traveled the world. Coppola collected an array of all his favorites, imported an authentic Argentinian grill called a parrilla and put it all in a menu at Rustic. The adults split the Marrakesh lamb, enticed by the description of how it’s prepared in Morocco, with a pile of rocks and a man sitting atop them stewing the meat for 10 hours — definitely worth the wait!

 

Tuesday Night Dinners

Tuesday nights used to be slow at Rustic so Coppola wanted to create a tavola, an authentic Italian family dining experience. Guests are welcomed like family and servers dress up in vintage Italian garb and act the part of your doting uncle and aunt. Food and wine are brought out as soon as guests are seated and the improved performances continue. Eat and drink as little or as much as you like and you’ll only be charged for what you consume. Not a surprise:  Tuesday nights are no longer slow and reservations are highly encouraged.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Destinations / North America
Apr 18, 2024

Where is One of the Most Unique Water Parks in the Country?

Take family travel to one of the most unique water parks in the country this summer. SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland Resort, in Nashville, Tennessee, is home to one of the most impressive water attractions with both indoor and outdoor areas.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

Slideshow
Apr 18, 2024

5 Montpelier, Vermont, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Montpelier, Vermont, with us.

Destinations / Central America
Apr 18, 2024

Forever Friends Girls Getaway

Friends can be like family, so perhaps consider a girls’ getaway next time you’re thinking of planning family travel. Naia Resort & Spa in Belize offers an excellent option to spring break with your BFFs with its Forever Friends Girls Getaway offer. The getaway includes a little bit of everything: camaraderie, luxury accommodations, spa treatments, delicious food and quiet time.

United Airlines Celebrates its First Class of United Aviate Graduates

As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.

Destinations / North America
Apr 17, 2024

Dine on the Ocean Floor in New Brunswick, Canada

The astonishing tides of the Bay of Fundy offer plenty of experiences for family travelers in Maritime Canada. The newest of these is the chance to eat dinner on the floor of the ocean, seated beneath towering cliffs and tide-carved sea stacks. Return the next day to see your former “dining room” under 40 feet of ocean.