Far Niente, one of the earliest stone wineries, derives its name from the Italian phrase "Dolce Far Niente" (how sweet it is to do nothing). It was founded in 1885 and flourished until prohibition. Abandoned for over 60 years, the winery was purchased in 1979 by Gil Nickel. He started the long process of restoring it. Far Niente's quest to produce outstanding wines of distinctive character has led them to a philosophy that requires vineyard ownership. Today, they own 200 acres (3 different vineyard sites) of what many regard as some of the finest vineyard land in the Napa Valley
The Martin Stelling Vineyard, located behind the winery in Oakville, is the cornerstone of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted on some of the most beautiful, gravelly loam soil in the Napa Valley, the vineyard uniformly produces wines with supple tannins, bright, forward fruit, and beautiful tannin structure.
Hand sorting in the winery maximised the ability to select the very best fruit from the harvest. On average, the wine had 15 days skin contact to extract the desired levels of colour, fruit and fine tannin extraction. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was aged for 17 months in French oak, of which 71% was new and 29% had been used once.