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Francis Ford Coppola expands wine business with Virginia Dare winery

Virginia Dare American Pinot Noir is a round,

Virginia Dare American Pinot Noir is a round, plummy, toasty wine. Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti

Francis Ford Coppola’s mondo vino is expanding. The new addition to the repertoire is Virginia Dare Winery in Geyserville, California.

Coppola said, in recently renaming the former Geyser Peak Winery he acquired a few years ago, that he was “intrigued” by the story of Virginia Dare, the white child born in the first English colony. The mystery of what happened to the Roanoke colonists has never been solved. The word “Croatoan” carved on a lone fence post is the only hint of the fate of the “lost colony.”

What the great filmmaker has done is enliven the tale a bit more with several good wines.

The 2014 Virginia Dare Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($25) is a round, plummy, toasty, very accessible production, with plenty of red fruit; the 2014 Virginia Dare Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($25), an easygoing, citrusy number. The pinot is a match for roast chicken or duck, loin of pork, beef stew, and fish, such as tuna or salmon. The chardonnay works best with lighter seafood dishes and ham.

Another wine, 2014 The Lost Colony ($23), is a versatile blend of syrah, malbec and cabernet franc, with notes of black and red fruit and a trace of spice. Try it with beef or lamb, maybe ribs or pizza.

The slightly smoky 2012 Manteo ($22) is made with eight red grapes, led by syrah, and has suggestions of cherry. Burgers and steaks are the right company. Viognier and roussanne define the refreshing 2013 Two Arrowheads ($23), an aromatic, juicy, peachy number with tropical fruit. Uncork it when you’re serving seafood and spicy fare.

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