SFoodie's Ben Narasin interviewed Francis Ford Coppola and his winemaker Corey Beck, for a he-said/he-said view of what making wine for and with the big man is all about.
Thanks for talking with us. How active are you in the wine-making process, or the direction of that process?
Coppola: I participate in goals and decisions but am not a winemaker myself.
Beck:Francis is extremely active with the designing of our products. In fact nothing gets approved without his blessing. I've always admired Francis for looking at different ways to package wine.
Is wine a singular pleasure or the other half of food?
Coppola: I rarely sip or drink wine on its own and almost always enjoy it along with food.
Beck: I grew up in a Italian family with my grandfather adding ice cubes to his red wine. His rationale was toning down the alcohol so it would pair better with food. I've always been a fan of more fruit-driven wines that are balanced and complement food. I can count on one hand the times I've had just a glass of wine-- that's what beer is for. Francis and I share the same philosophy when it comes to wine.
As you are the definitive standard to many in movie making, someone to aspire to be as good as, do you have anyone (or any brand) that you feel that way about in wine?
Beck: When it comes to California wines I would say it was Robert Mondavi. His vision wasn't just about Mondavi wines but included Napa Valley as well as California.
Coppola's wines deserve attention on their own, so we'll cover those in a separate post.