Our history was shaped by dreamers, doers, and craftsmen — all in pursuit of perfection in winemaking. Far Niente was founded in Oakville, California 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, and together they worked to create an exquisite oasis in western Oakville.
Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919. The gates closed, but the magic never truly disappeared from the property. Sixty years later, Gil Nickel bought and restored the winery and neighboring vineyard. This three-year-long labor of love put the label back on the map — and on the National Register of Historic Places. He preserved the Far Niente name — an Italian phrase which romantically translated means ‘without a care.’ Nickel hoped to recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care.
To this day, Far Niente is consistently recognized as a benchmark producer of Napa Valley Chardonnay and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Ours is an unparalleled level of time-honored winemaking traditions. This has helped establish Far Niente as one of the world’s great wine estates.