About the winery
Founded by John Benson in 1885, Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when the winery ceased operation and the buildings and estate were abandoned. Sixty years later, in 1979, Gil and Beth Nickel purchased the old stone shell of a winery and spent three years restoring the building to its original, 19th century grandeur. During restoration the name, "Far Niente," which romantically translated means "without a care," was found carved in stone on the front of the building. In 1998, Far Niente was reunited with its past when a bottle of 1886 Far Niente Sweet Muscat, intact with its original cork, capsule and label, was found in a wine cellar in Marin County, California. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Far Niente produces critically acclaimed, estate bottled Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines that are renowned for their consistent house style and ability to evolve with extended age.
- Tasting Room Size
Tasting Room Atmosphere
Guided tours and tastings are offered several times each day, by appointment. Tours begin with a walk through the historic, tri-level winery, which is built into the surrounding hillside. Guests are then led through a portion of the 40,000 square-foot Far Niente wine aging caves, which were the first modern wine caves built in North America when excavation began in 1980. The tour concludes with a viewing of the Carriage House, home to a fascinating collection of classic automobiles.
Tastings follow each tour and feature the current releases of Far Niente estate wines, including a Napa Valley Chardonnay and Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as carefully aged Chardonnay and Cabernet from the Far Niente Cave Collection. A seasonal cheese pairing is also featured. Each tasting ends with a taste of Dolce, the sumptuous, late harvest wine produced by Far Niente’s sister winery, also called Dolce.
Music in Tasting Room: Classical, Light, Jazz
View from Tasting Room: We are on the west side of Napa Valley and have a lovely view of the east side.
Food Available: Wine tasting with cheese pairing.
- Tasting room
- Winery Features
Open by appointment - call/email
Offers tours by appointment - call/email
Seated tasting available
Tasting available in private area
Indoor tasting area
Winery has gardens
Winery has unique architecture
Winery includes wine caves
Winery property is historical landmark
Winery practices sustainable agriculture/production
- Wine styles produced:
- Varieties produced:
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Petit Verdot