Best Wineries

Far Niente Winery in Oakville, Napa Valley

By Published On: May 7th, 2024

Visit this Century Old Winery for its Impressive Wines, Gardens, and Enchanting Caves

Set on 13 acres of exquisitely landscaped gardens, azalea plantings, and trees, Far Niente takes pride in its stunning surroundings as well as its celebrated wines. Far Niente was one of Napa Valley’s first stone wineries, constructed in the late 19th century and restored to its original beauty during the 1980s. The wine caves are a special feature of the winery, a place for aging wines and a magical part of a tour for guests visiting Far Niente. 

The Far Niente Family of Wineries and Vineyards includes Far Niente, established in 1885, a producer of elegantly labeled and superb Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In addition, the Family includes Nickel & Nickel, a producer of 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines. Bella Union wines include Cabernet Sauvignon blends, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé. En Route produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rosé. Solely dedicated to producing late harvest wine, Dolce, offers their delicious wine in large formats up to six liters. Post & Beam features Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

In addition to overseeing the Far Niente Family of Wineries and Vineyards, Proprietress Beth Nickel serves as a winery spokesperson at local and national events and champions children’s charities locally and abroad in addition to fundraising to support cancer research. Nickel also manages the wineries’ marketing and public relations as well as interior and landscape design, with Far Niente’s gardens a focal point of the winery.

Visiting Far Niente Winery

Far Niente is open daily for tours and tastings, by appointment only, from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The winery is not able to accommodate pets or anyone under the age of 21, including infants and children. Please note that since tours and tastings include walking and stairs, the winery requests that guests notify them in advance if assistance is required. Several options are available:

Cave Collection Library Wine Tasting with Food Pairings

This 90-minute multisensory experience begins with a tour of the winery’s caves. With a total area of 40,000 square feet, the caves hold Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay vintages aging in 100% French oak in a unique setting. Guests then enjoy a curated food and wine pairing featuring Far Niente’s Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnay. The cost is $275 per person, with 50% off for club members up to a party of four.

Group Tour & Tasting at Far Niente Winery

During a 90-minute experience, guests have an opportunity to glimpse the winery and gardens while hearing about the wines, wine caves, and tri-level winery. This seated tasting ends with a taste of the luscious late harvest wine, Dolce, produced by Far Niente’s sister winery of the same name. (not a private experience) The cost is $130 per person, with up to four complimentary experiences for club members. 

Private Tasting

This one-hour experience is a tasting (not a guided tour) of Far Niente’s newest vintages along with a selection of wines from the family of wineries. The cost is $120 per person, with up to four complimentary experiences for club members.

Far Niente Large Group Tour & Tasting

Groups of up to 25 guests can enjoy a tour of the winery, gardens, and caves followed by a seated tasting of current release wines, including the late harvest wine, Dolce. The cost for the 90-minute experience is $175 per person + a 20% service fee. For groups of 9-16, please inquire for pricing.

Club Lounge

This casual tasting at the winery’s Horseshoe Bar, set alongside the pond at the Cabernet Grill, is a members-only experience offered seasonally on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Complimentary for club members up to four guests, members have the opportunity to choose from a selection of wines not generally offered in the tasting lineup. 

As noted, many of the tastings are complimentary or offered at a savings for Far Niente Family of Wine Club Members. 

The Wines of Far Niente

The winery produces Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in addition to its special Cave Collection that also includes both Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. 

Current releases include the 2022 Far Niente Chardonnay, Napa Valley, the 2021 Far Niente Chardonnay, Coombsville, Napa Valley (1.5l), the 2021 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, and 2021 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.

The Cave Collection wines include the 2020 Far Niente Cave Collection Chardonnay and the 2018 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, in addition to exclusive older wines, collection cases, and large format bottles. 

The 2020 Cave Collection Chardonnay, aged for three years, is described as “richly aromatic with notes of white fig and citrus blossom” with “crisp minerality and juicy acidity.” The 2018 Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville features “generous aromas of blackberry, chocolate-covered cherries, and espresso,” with a velvety finish layered with ripe, lingering black fruit flavors.”

Conservation & Sustainability

Far Niente’s commitment to sustainability includes water conservation, efficient use of energy, and minimizing chemical use against pests in their vineyards. They use new technologies to measure water demand and avoid over irrigation. The winery has been 100% self-powering with solar power since 2008, employing nearly 1000 panels on the vineyard’s irrigation pond. In addition, they avoid peak hours of electrical energy usage and take measures to reduce tractor drive time.

Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, and Bella Union are Certified California Sustainable Wineries, meeting the requirements of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel have also achieved Napa Green Winery certification.

Far Niente’s exquisite wines bring pleasure whether enjoyed at home with friends or at the winery in the midst of lush gardens and towering trees. A visit to the elegant stone winery and historic wine caves adds another dimension to the experience of tasting Far Niente’s wines.

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