I’ve walked the beautiful new ‘Vineyard Walks’ . For this series of articles, I am sharing some of their highlights so that you can find the perfect one for you. There are currently seven vineyard walks, but the numbers will be expanding as more wineries join the party. This will be a multi-part series highlighting the current vineyard walks by appellation, (), (), (), (), (), () and ().
Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Rustic Restaurant is the complete package with more than forty wines produced on-site, a full-service restaurant serving cuisine paired perfectly with their wines, poolside luxury for swimmers or sunbathers and a fabulous array of wine-tasting experiences. Now you can also enjoy the sustainably farmed vineyards surrounding their Alexander Valley facility.
The vineyard walk here is one of the longer one at just over a mile and has one small section that is a little steep, but the walk features some incredible views for those wanting a truly unique experience. Especially during harvest season with vines bursting with grapes, this is a walk not to be missed.
For all of the walks you need to check-in at the winery for a map showing you the route and highlighting points of interest. Then be sure to have the essentials ready including a bottle of water (available poolside). Other essentials are comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. These walks are perfect for locals or visitors to learn how sustainably farmed vineyards create better wine or just enjoy this stunning property.
The walk begins just beyond the parking lot in the Lily Block, also known as the “H Block” where Wine Club members convene annually to adopt a vine and have dinner under the oaks – a tradition since 2007. Each of the Francis Ford Coppola Winery blocks are named after the child of a winemaking team member.
The walk showcases the Coppola’s commitment to preserve and protect these 88 acres of land, including many native plants, trees, creeks and wildlife in addition to the beautiful vineyards in full bloom as harvest approaches. The vineyards are certified sustainable by both the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Fish Friendly Farming preserving these lands for future generations to enjoy.
The Alexander Valley is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and was born from the original Sotoyome Rancho, a Mexican land grant. In 1841, Cyrus Alexander came to this unnamed valley on the northern frontier of Mexico homesteading the frontier with temperate climate, plentiful water, abundant timber and good soils that would later be named in his honor.
Alexander Valley is approximately 22 miles in length and varies in width from a couple to seven miles wide encompassing almost 77,000 acres planted to about 15,000 acres of premium wine grapes and formally recognized as an American Viticulture Appellation (AVA) in 1984.
The highlight of the tour for me was the spectacular views of Francis Ford Coppola Winery and the Alexander Valley featuring many of the gorgeous grapes being used in their red wines. But a close second was the poolside pannini’s and wine at the end of the walk.
This is the perfect place to spend the day or start a tour of Alexander Valley. Alexander Valley Winegrowers, Sonoma Vintners and the Wine Road all have great tour planning information on their websites that help Sonoma County visitors plan their perfect wine tasting tours of the many great offerings in this appellation.