theCompass mobile application is a winery, brewery, and distillery locator for North America.

Far Niente Winery

Far Niente Winery Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. Benson hired architect Hamden McIntyre, creator of the former Christian Brothers winery – now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – to design the building. Constructed against a hillside in western Oakville, Far Niente functioned as a gravity flow winery, gently moving the grapes through each stage of production. Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Sixty years later, in 1979, Gil Nickel purchased the winery and adjacent vineyard and began a three-year restoration of the property. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, from an Italian phrase that romantically translated means "without a care," was found carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day. We felt an obligation to preserve the name with the hope that we could recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care. Nineteen eighty-two marked the return of winemaking to Far Niente, with the harvest of the winery’s first Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay was also produced at the winery for the first time that year; the 1979, ’80 and ’81 vintage wines were made at an offsite location. Today, the winery continues to focus on producing only the two varietal wines.

From San Francisco via the Bay Bridge/Highway 80: Take Highway 80 East over the Bay Bridge, towards Sacramento. Remain on 80 East, cross the Carquinez Bridge and pay the bridge toll. Continue on 80 East to the Highway 37/Columbus Parkway exit in the city of Vallejo. Take 37 (towards San Rafael) for a few miles to Highway 29. Turn right (north) onto 29 and follow 29 north through the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. About 3 miles north of the Washington St. traffic light at Yountville, you will enter Oakville, a very small town, indicated by a green highway sign on the right side of the road. Almost immediately after that sign is another green highway sign on the right that says “Oakville Grade”. Take the Oakville Grade. Turn left (west) on the Oakville Grade and travel 9/10th of one mile. Turn left onto a long driveway marked only by two tall pine trees on either side of the driveway, as well as a small wooden sign that says “1350/1360 Acacia Drive”. (If you find Diamond Oaks Winery on the Oakville Grade, turn around -- you’ve gone too far.) Continue on Acacia Drive to our electric gate and follow instructions at the gate phone. From San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge/Highway 101: From 101 North near the San Francisco Airport, follow signs to Golden Gate Bridge/Van Ness. Take Van Ness to Lombard. Turn left on Lombard and follow to the Golden Gate Bridge. After crossing the bridge, follow 101 North to the Highway 37 exit, and follow the signs to Napa. Follow 37 to the junction with Highway 121, which is marked by a stoplight. Turn left at light, which will place you on 121 and you will pass the Sears Point Raceway on your left. Take 121 to a three-way stop. Turn right at stop. This is now 121/12. Follow this to the junction with Highway 29, which is marked by a stoplight, where you may only turn left or right. Turn left to follow 29 North. Drive through Napa and Yountville, and follow the remaining directions above.

View Map | View Weather

Address Web Social
1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA, US, 94562 Email:
Phone: 707-944-2861 Web:
Fax: 707-944-2312
Back to CA wine list


  Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
The 1999 vintage tops off a decade of magnificent vintages for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This great vintage began with a cool spring and wonderfully moderate growing season, which contributed to a late start to the harvest. The extra hang time allowed the grapes ample opportunity to fully ripen and develop concentrated flavors. Rich and expansive on the palate, with ripe fruit and silky tannins, the 1999 vintage exhibits the combination of depth and elegance that has become the hallmark of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. The primary source for our Cabernet is our estate Stelling Vineyard, located behind the Far Niente winery in Oakville. This 100-acre vineyard produces wines that exhibit the cassis, blackberry and "dusty" components typical of wines grown in the soils of west Oakville.
  Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
  Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2001 offers a perfume and bright raspberries up front with complementary layers of cassis and cedary oak. This vintage has produced a soft, supple wine with moderate tannins that will only become more velvety with further bottle aging.
  Estate Bottled Chardonnay
  Estate Bottled Chardonnay
  Estate Bottled Chardonnay
Aromas of melon, hazelnut, orange, spice and cinnamon are complimented by toasty aromas in the nose. The palate offers a full entry, with layers of fruit, fig and citrus supported by impressive length and balance, leading to a mouthwatering finish.


Add New Review