|photography by Elizabeth Lavin|
Inspired by the way Steve Jobs personally introduces his newest Apple creations to the world, Francis Ford Coppola, five-time Academy Award-winning film director, producer, screenwriter, hotelier, magazine publisher, and vintner, hit the road for an eight-city tour to introduce his company Francis Ford Coppola Presents. Not only is he promoting a new winery, Rosso & Bianco, he’s got a signature line of organic sauces, pastas, olive oils, salad dressings, and cigars.
On a recent visit to Dallas, Coppola, clad in a white suit, treated audience members at the Fashion Industry Gallery to an intimate look at the connection between his personal passions and his professional ventures. Rosso & Bianco is his latest endeavor. He purchased the former Chateau Souverain estate in Sonoma and moved production of his popular wines (read: everything but Rubicon) to this estate. Now all of his wines, including the new Director’s Cut label, Diamond Collection, Sofia Wines, and, of course, Rosso & Bianco, are produced in Sonoma, while the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery has been renamed Rubicon Estate. “We decided four or five years ago that these popular wines that you see in the store that cost $15 or $18, which are very fine wines, but that was sort of incompatible with also having a wine with the Coppola name on it that was a premium wine that could cost $150,” Coppola says.
Rest easy, Rubicon loyalists. The wines aren’t changing a bit, just the winery name. Coppola hasn’t sold out to the celebrity endorsement machine. Every product he creates has been inspired by his own life. He started producing Carmine Premium cigars and Carmine Thrifty Toscani-style cigars, named for his father and in honor of his grandfather, who both delighted in a good smoke now and then. His culinary offerings, labeled Mammarella after his mother, taste-tested by Coppola and his mom.
“I made the point with our food company—all of those recipes that we do or the pasta we make is all something that I really was the primary mover in. And it wasn’t that someone just said, Oh, wouldn’t it be a good idea if you put Francis’ name on a bunch of—you know.”
All products are available online at www.ffcpresents.com or at local grocery stores or wine shops.
For video clips of an exclusive interview with Coppola, go to www.dmagazine.com/coppola.