Archive for July 31st, 2011

Playing in the Sonoma Sun

One of the new destinations in Sonoma County is the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville.  I visited there with my friend, Gail, in one of our rainy days of June.  The outside area of pool, bocce courts and cabines did not look too inviting that day.  So with a very little encouragement, we went back on a sunny day in July.  This was another charity auction outing that consisted of bocce lessons with  winemaker, Sandy Walheim, lunch for eight and time at the pool with our own cabines (which are the small cabanas by the pool with showers.

Upper Bocce Courts at Coppola Winery

We arrived at 9:30 A.M. for our 10 o’clock bocce lessons.  It was a bit overcast but the promise of blue skies was evident.  It was fun to be shown in as the regular tasting crowd was told that they would need to stay outside the gates until 11.  We were given keys to the two cabines (each accommodates 4 people) and placed our towels chaises so that we could have the location we wanted after lunch.  It was then time to try our hand at bocce.  Sandy is the designated bocce instructor because she has played on a bocce league.  She claims that it is “no big deal” as she was not on a winning team.  She certainly knew a lot more about bocce than the eight of us combined. Bocce is known by many names throughout the world.  The concept is to have a small ball known as the pallino  tossed down the court and the team that ends with their larger balls closest to the pallino scores points.  Okay, it gets complicated with not hitting the back of the court and getting the pallino at least as far as the midpoint, etc. etc.  We managed to spend two and a half hours (with my team getting totally skunked) of delightful interaction.

Private Luncheon Venue

The sky was blue – lunch was served – and everyone was enjoying the premium wines of Coppola. The lunch was vegetarian and Italian deli meat panninis with a wonderful orzo salad.  (Everyone said it was wonderful but since it had raw tomatoes in it, I did not partake!)  We had consumed the chardonnay while playing bocce so we had to go with the Director’s Cut Zinfandel with our lunch.   The lunch was topped off with a selection of cookies that went very well with the zinfandel wine.

The next activity was to visit the displays of Francis Ford Coppola’s movies that are inside the winery.  For Coppola film buffs, this is a unique treat with costumes, cars and Oscars all up close.

Our Server with Bob at Poolside

I headed straight for poolside.  The day was warm enough to be comfortable in a swimsuit and cool enough to be pleasant.  The staff who keeps the wine and food coming are dressed in white uniforms that could be on the set from Imperial India.   We had to try the Sophia sparkling wine and a pinot gris.  We were at a winery after all!  The pool was refreshing and the towels soft.

All in all – this was a terrific day.  I highly recommend the outdoor area for a wonderful day.  We arrived at 9:30 in the morning (but remember that we had special treatment – opening is at 11 A.M.) and gathered our things at 5:30 in the afternoon.  No one was ready to go eat afterwards.



July 2011


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