Sofia Coppola: Burgeoning Wine Expert?

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Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

Yesterday, over a lunch of caramelized Belgian endive salad and sautéed Chatham Bay cod at Per Se, Sofia Coppola talked about her new movie Somewhere. But, given the environs — the salad was paired with Craggy Range Chardonnay from New Zealand, the cod with a '99 Fronsac (and glasses were constantly refilled by the attentive staff) — we were far more interested in asking the Oscar-winning director about her family’s Sonoma County vineyard and winery.

You’ve said in interviews that you used to hang out at Chateau Marmont. Is there any place sort of comparable in New York?
No. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere like the Chateau Marmont, so it’s so specific, it’s such a unique, iconic place. I can’t think of anywhere else that attracts all that kind of world together. I have to say, I’ve stayed at the Mercer and that’s fun to people-watch in the lobby in the same way as the Chateau. It’s the same owner, so maybe there’s a connection. But it’s always fun in a place, I think, where film people and musicians and fashion people kind of all intersect.

Your father owns a vineyard. Do you ever take any interest in that at all?
In the vineyard?

Yes, or in the wine-making process. Are you into that at all?
Yeah. My brother made a wine, and I don’t know as much about it as I feel like I should, but I’m going there for the holidays, and I love to be involved in it and visit and see what they’re making. I’m learning.

Are you?
I mean, I’m trying to learn more about wine, but I’m not learning to be a winemaker, no.

Does anybody stomp on grapes there?
Not anymore, but there’s a bottle somewhere from when we first moved there. I was a little kid and stomped on some grapes, and they bottled it and called it Lafitte Sofia. So there’s a bottle somewhere from 1977 or something. [Laughs.] It’s probably in our cellar somewhere. But we don’t stomp on the grapes anymore. It’s more high tech.

Did you do that while you were growing up, or just once for posterity?
They used to have a harvest party every fall when the grape harvest was, and we had a big tank and we could all jump in and stomp grapes.

So they actually do that like in the movies?
Yeah. It’s fun. But we don’t really make wine that way anymore. [Laughs.]