Filed under: Wine
Legendary for its jewel box beauty, stunning gardens and critically acclaimed estate wines, Far Niente is a nominee for a Readers' Choice Award for Best Domestic White Wine.
Far Niente was founded in 1885, by John Benson, an original forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the artist, Winslow Homer. It was one of the Napa Valley's first gravity flow wineries, which gently moves the grapes through each stage of production.
Benson named the winery "Far Niente" after the Italian phrase "Dolce Far Niente" meaning, "sweet to do nothing". The winery prospered until its abandonment at the onset of Prohibition in 1919. The winery was abandoned for sixty years, until Oklahoman Gil Nickel purchased the property and adjoining vineyard in 1979 and began a meticulous, three-year restoration. Nickel, a physicist by education with a background in agriculture through his family's nursery business, had relocated to California with a quest to create a world-class Napa Valley wine estate. While the winery was being restored, Nickel took courses in the enology and viticulture program at the University of California at Davis. Nickel's efforts were rewarded with the placement of Far Niente on the National Registrar of Historic Places.
Gallery: Far Niente