Far Niente is one of California’s oldest wineries and was founded in 1885 by entrepreneur, John Benson. The winery prospered until Prohibition in 1919 and was then abandoned until 1979. The winery was purchased in 1979 by Gil Nickel and a three year restoration plan was set in place. During the restoration, the original name, Far Niente, romantically translated to “without a care,” was found carved in stone on the front of the building. This stone carving remains in the front of the building. To this day Far Niente focuses on only two varietals, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Far Niente is not a new winery for me. I have been drinking Far Niente wines for a very long time, and not just their Chardonnay, but I love their Cabernet Sauvignon and the ever so popular late harvest Dolce. As the summer approaches there are many special occasions and celebration, so today I want to focus on Far Niente Chardonnay as it is the perfect wine for the season.
Chardonnay was the first varietal planted and bottled by Far Niente with the first vintage produced in 1979. At Far Niente they aim to produce a Chardonnay that has bright fruit, crisp acidity with a creaminess on the palate. The Chardonnay is made from premier vineyards in Coombsville, which has a cool growing climate.
The Far Niente Chardonnay is quintessential Napa Valley, a wine that is rich, layered and elegant. The 2017 has aromas of lemon zest, white peach, and jasmine, combined with a hint of subtle minerality. The wine is rich, full bodied and has a luxurious mouthfeel. On the palate there are notes of apple, citrus, vanilla and toasted hazelnuts. The full flavor, textures, and acidity make it the perfect wine to pair with a creamy fish, smoked salmon or mushroom risotto.
When in Napa Valley be sure to visit Far Niente, a historic winery with a sense of place that dates back to 1885. When tasting the Chardonnay on site, you taste the magic of the vineyards. These are the same vineyards that were used well over a 100 years ago. They offer a variety of tours and tastings, so be sure to make your reservations.