Many folks hear “Disney” and immediately think of Dumbo, oppressive heat, or waiting in lines all day. But one of our many goals here at the Disney Food Blog is to show another side of Disney — the side that includes yummy eats, relaxing restaurants, indulgent drinks, and even a few sophisticated wines!
For example, I knew that a few vineyards had ties to Disney, but I had no idea how many winemakers were somehow associated with the man and his mirthful creations! Here are four that we found had ties to the Disney name…would love to hear of others, or to hear your reviews of these companies!
The eldest daughter of Walt and Lillian Disney, Diane Disney Miller, purchased a Napa Valley vineyard in the early 1970s with her husband, Ronald Miller.
After successfully selling the fruits of their labor to wineries, they decided to go into the wine business themselves, creating Silverado Vineyard Winery, which opened in 1981.
“It was beautiful land, and it was land that was working,” said Diane Miller of their first vineyards.
If you can’t get to Napa Valley, visit this incredible vineyard at silveradovineyards.com/.
Update: DCL now offering Lasseter Family Wine excursions at its San Francisco port-of-call!
You know John Lasseter as the director of Pixar blockbusters like Toy Story and Cars. He is now the chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation as well as the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.
In 1992, John Lasseter’s family discovered the art (and fun) of wine-making, and ten years later they purchased a 27-acre vineyard in California. Today, three generations of the Lasseter family enjoy this endeavor together at the Lasseter Family Winery.
You can find Lasseter wines for sale at several Disney restaurants, and you’ll even find Lasseter-autographed bottles at Napa Rose in Disneyland’s Grand Californian Resort!
Frank Family Vineyards
Richard Frank is a former President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, chairman of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications, and president of The Walt Disney Studios. What’s he doing these days? Running a winery, of course — the Frank Family Vineyards.
From what we can tell, the highlight of the winery is the The Tasting Room, which is open daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm! According to Frank,
“With my background at Disney, I really learned how to create a friendly and unique guest experience… . We have something very special in our dynamic staff, our wine, and our history. Our tasting room is extremely down-to-earth. We want our guests to feel like they’ve discovered something very special and very real,”
Check out their wines online, which are handcrafted in small quantities.
Fess Parker Winery
King of the Wild Frontier!
Fess Parker was signed by Walt Disney to the Davy Crockett title role in 1954. Ten years later, the network series, Daniel Boone, began its six-year run as one of the highest rated television shows of the time. But multi-talented Fess Parker wasn’t just the show’s star. He also co-produced it and directed five of the most popular episodes!
In 1987, Parker purchased a 714-acre ranch north of Santa Barbara, which set the foundation for the Fess Parker Winery. He had a vision — to work with his multi-generational family, to make outstanding wines, to share his wines, and to give people a place to visit. All of these goals were accomplished by the creation of the family’s winery.
Let us know your favorite Disney-related wines! And do you know of any other wineries (breweries? distilleries?) that have a Disney tie?