Spicy oak and bright acidity complement each other in this well-made white, which shows strong tones of crisp citrus and green apple. It builds body on the midpalate, with integrated woody notes and lasting richness.
Far Niente, in Oakville, Napa Valley, was founded in 1885 by John Benson, who ran it until Prohibition in 1919, when he abandoned the winery. In 1979 Gil Nickel, an Oklahoma nursery owner, purchased the 250-acre estate. Today the estate is still owned by the Nickel family. The second generation has also started other wine enterprises in the Napa Valley, including Dolce, producer of a late harvest wine, and Nickel & Nickel, which produces small-lot, single-vineyard wines. Far Niente produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.