This September I visited Napa Valley for the first time and (aside from discovering I have allergies), it was amazing. It was like going to The Fair for the first time as a kid – eyes opened wide taking in the views and taste buds running wild wanting to taste it all. As a first-timer I guess you can say that I had a pretty tall order. I wanted to visit wineries that were all about both the ambiance and the wine. I wanted the best and that’s what I got – especially at Far Niente.
Far Niente was the perfect – and I mean perfect – first winery because it has it all. It set such a high standard for the rest of the day, just as I expected. I was never a fan of white wine until I was introduced to their chardonnay and have never looked back since. It was a game changer! What’s even more is that every bottle of Far Niente I have enjoyed is linked to a happy memory of me and my fiance.
Far Niente is a must when discovering Napa Valley.
As soon as we drove in, the estate absolutely blew me away with it’s grand entrance. Founded in 1885 and beautifully restored 60 years later, it is gorgeous.
We received a warm welcome from the staff and were offered a glass of crisp Chardonnay.
Our guide Sophia, who was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about both the Estate and its wines, gave us a great tour of the caves. She explained just how selective they are with their grapes and aging process.
We were presented with a 2013 Estate Chardonnay, 2011 Cave Collection Chardonnay, 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2006 Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon. They were all lovely and served with excellent cheese pairings. Alex and I preferred the older Cave collection for both the chardonnay and cab.
The tasting ended with an exquisite tasting of 2009 Dolce which is referred to as “liquid gold” and its not hard to quickly discover why. It is a wonderful blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc that is harvested very late with it’s quantities being unpredictable. Its sweet and smooth pear notes were fantastically paired with blue cheese that serves as the perfect contrast and dried apricots for comparison – just absolute perfection. We brought home a bottle of the 2009 and intend to enjoy it sometime after our wedding since we believe this rare vintage deserves to be opened in celebration of something very special.
Opening a bottle of Far Niente is always exciting. Mostly because I know I’m about to drink really great wine, but also because I know that opening that bottle will leave me with a memory of something really special. I’m happy to say that our experience was upscale, top-notch, and will definitely be repeated. We can’t wait to return to Far Niente’s gorgeous grounds, beautiful estate, and fantastic wines next year!