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What do vintners give their wives to celebrate 50 years of marriage? Their own label, of course.

As it turns out the bottling – Eleanor 2009 California Red Blend — is a tasty tribute to one of Wine Country’s most interesting women.

The $48 syrah/cabernet blend has layered flavors of black cherry, blackberry, anise and mocha. Like Eleanor, it’s unfussy but impressive.

One of Eleanor’s most interesting accomplishments is her documentary “Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”  In it she chronicled the making of her husband’s award-winning, war film “Apocalypse Now,” revealing the behind-the-scenes drama caught on camera like the nervous breakdown of the film’s lead, Martin Sheen.

Released in 1991, the documentary won several awards, including the Emmy for “Outstanding Individual Achievement – Informational Programming – Directing.”

Eleanor also penned the memoir “Notes on a Life,” which covers 30 years of juggling the responsibilities of raising children while leading a nomadic life of sorts, moving the family from place to place to coordinate with Francis’ filming.

As Francis puts it: “Eleanor has always been a true partner in all my endeavors, bringing her creativity, honesty and generous spirit to it all — she’s wife, mother, artist, filmmaker  – collaborator and inspiration.”

All this Eleanor talk is inspiring me to watch her documentary once again and to celebrate this unfussy, yet impressive woman.

 

 

 

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