When Francis Ford Coppola was a boy, he never saw a dinner table that didn't have a bottle of wine on it. And so he was very interested in all the wine companies of the day, and one in particular. A gracefully curved and embossed bottle with the image of a lovely woman who looked like a fairy tale princess. And he remembered the song on the radio that sung about Virginia Dare, the classic American wine that featured her image.
The story of the Virginia Dare Winery started when two businessmen known as the Garrett brothers purchased North Carolina’s Medoc Vineyard, which was the state’s first commercial winery started in 1835. The business eventually became Garrett & Company, producing the Virginia Dare wines which quickly became one of the nation’s top selling wines. With the start of Prohibition in 1919, Garrett & Company was forced to move, first to Brooklyn, New York, and then to Cucamonga, California, where the business transformed into the Virginia Dare Winery. It was one of the first wineries to sell wine after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 and was considered a booming business for much of the late 40s and 50s, but eventually saw turmoil and nearly faded into history.
The Family Coppola is proud to carry on the Virginia Dare name, and with it the stories of the people, places, and myths that portray the history of American wine. Our friends at Virginia Dare Extract Company are still manufacturing flavor extracts in Brooklyn, NY, and we are thrilled to have their blessing as we bring the legend of Virginia Dare back to life in Sonoma County, the present-day heart of American wine country.