Far Niente

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I loved Far Niente for its spectacular grounds. An appointment-only winery, Far Niente was first established in 1885 by gold rush miner John Benson. Like many of the Napa vineyards, the Prohibition hit it hard and it was abandoned. Gil Nichel purchased the property in 1979. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, an Italian phrase meaning "without a care:, was found carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day.

The tour begins in the caves and includes the carriage house with classic cars. The estate is known for its chardonneys and cabernet sauvignons, and boy, they know how to serve up a wine tasting. Tourists are presented with a plate of cheeses to pair with the wines. I never would have paired a dessert wine with blue cheese, but it worked. My personal fav was from Far Niente's sister vineyard, Dolce. Let me tell you, Dolce lives up to its name of 'Liguid Gold'. A blend of late harvest Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc, Dolce is perfection of winemaking artistry. :) Carol