Film Director Francis Coppola Opens Native American-Inspired Restaurant

The new restaurant with 66 interior seats and patio dining honors the cultural heritage of the Native American Pamunkey tribe
Virginia Dare Winery

Virginia Dare Winery

The Virginia Dare Winery opened in 1835 and is home to the “Mother Vine,” a 400-year-old grapevine species.

American film director Francis Coppola unveiled his new restaurant, Werowocomoco, located in the Virginia Dare Winery in Geyserville, California. Inspiration for the restaurant came from the winery itself, which was one of the first in the U.S., according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Through Coppola’s research, he discovered that the winery’s named traced back to the first English child born in the New World in a Virginia Colony. Coppola  chose the seventeenth century Algonquin settlement in Virginia — Werowocomoco — as the name for his restaurant.

“Virginia Dare Winery highlights the genesis of American winemaking, so it makes sense that our new restaurant would celebrate our country’s indigenous foods,” Coppola said in a press release to Wine Business. “With Werowocomoco, my goal is to present a menu inspired by the culinary traditions of the earliest inhabitants of North America.”

The restaurant will feature “Native American ambience and food” in order to “highlight ingredients of America as it once had been.” The menu will include food ranging from bison ribs with a berry barbecue sauce to river-harvested wild rice with cranberries. Over several years, Coppola sought out to taste authentic Native American food and shared meals on reservations with families and locals.

Coppola even received a personal blessing from the chief Powhatan, an Algonquian political and spiritual leader who oversaw several tribes, including the Pamunkey tribe. Coppola was given permission to borrow the Native American name and honor the Pamunkey tribe and its history.

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In addition, the Virginia Dare Winery will donate 5 percent of its pretax profits to America’s Native People.