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Francis Ford Coppola & the WCG Bocce Tournament = Much Fun!


Written by:

Joe Becerra

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It was a perfect day for our 7th Annual WCG Bocce Tournament held in Geyserville at the Francis Ford Coppola winery on May 26th. With four new beautiful, professional Bocce courts, the gourmet Rustic Café, and spectacular views of the Alexander Valley, we could not have asked for a better venue.

Assistant Winemaker Emma Kudritzki

We make the Bocce event a two-night affair, this time lodging in Geyserville at the Geyserville Inn. The day before the tournament we visit a winery or two, have a picnic lunch, and have a nice dinner at a local restaurant. It was a very rainy morning the day we headed up to Geyserville. We were worried that the courts would be too wet to play our tournament the following day. But by 1 pm the rain had stopped and the sun had broken through the clouds. Our first stop was the Mauritson Winery where we had previously arranged to have a tour with assistant winemaker Emma Kudritzki, followed by a tasting of their newly-released Rockpile wines.  We’d brought our picnic lunches along and the Mauritson Winery was kind enough to set up tables for us inside the barrel room and spare us from the outside winter-like climate.

Dinner at Diavola Pizzeria

That evening we had a family-style dinner at Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria in Geyserville. Chef Dino Bugica cooked up a beautiful array of pizzas and fresh pasta dishes and other delicious delights. What a fabulous meal and at such a reasonable price! Who would think that in tiny Geyserville you could find such a gourmet fare as this one? This place should be on Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Restaurants; it is that good.

Lunch at the Poolside Café

Now for the 7th Annual WCG Bocce Tournament. We had 8 teams of Bocce players and, with the four Bocce courts at Coppola, we were able to play a full round-robin schedule with each team playing seven games, a grand total of 56 games plus an added play-off game to decide the championship team.  These courts cannot be reserved, so we’d arrived when the winery opened and immediately started our tournament on all four courts. We played ferocious and spectacular Bocce until the tournament was completed at 4:30 pm. We did break for lunch at 1pm.  In advanced we’d ordered a lunch for us to be served buffet style at the poolside café. The food was wonderful and the setting on the patio by the pool is very peaceful and enjoyable.

One of the great things about Bocce, at least at our level of skill, is that the game is so easy to play, anyone can win. The old sport clichés like “on any given day” or “that’s why they play the game” could not be truer with our tournament. Two of the teams that had fared poorly over the last few years battled down to the wire for first and second place. In the playoff situation, the Library Reserves bested the Winos.  Last year’s winner, the Zin Lovers, finished dead last.  Go figure!

The entire staff at the Francis Ford Coppola winery that attended to us must be congratulated. They were extremely helpful, courteous and very professional. The Staff at the Geyserville Inn was also very gracious in helping us plan our appetizer dinner the night of the tournament.  For a reasonable fee, you can rent their meeting/party room for your casual gathering.  The fee includes the use of tables and chairs, as well as a Barbecue kettle for your use.  We’d all brought appetizers from home and kept them cold in the refrigerators in the rooms.  We enjoyed our relaxing evening rehashing the day’s activities and awarding the perpetual trophy to the Library Reserves. The trophy must be prominently displayed in their house and it is the WCG commissioner’s duty to make periodic inspections at the home of the Library Reserves to see if they are complying with this tradition.


  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

3 thoughts on “Francis Ford Coppola & the WCG Bocce Tournament = Much Fun!”

  1. If the trophy is not displayed in a high level place, (bathroom is not included) the Award winner will have to BBQ, dinner for the other contestants. Visits to the winners home will be unannounced. Coppola was an outstanding venue and they provide excellent courts to play upon. One suggestion is that they post score boards which are seen in most other courts. This would make it easier for people to follow games and focus on matches of interest. Geyserville Inn is a gem in the setting of Sonoma. Great time….

  2. The courts and people at the Coppola winery couldn’t have been nicer. If you are in Geyserville you owe it to yourself to have a meal at Diavola-great food.

    • Yes I agree on Diavola’s. Who would expect something so delicious in tiny Geyserville. Hoffman is also good for breakfast in Geyserville.

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