Our first event of the year is fast approaching—and some say it’s our best event. Each February we release our newest Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. This year, we’re unveiling the 2010 vintage on February 2.
Guests journey through the wine caves, tasting the newest release as well as select Cabernets from our Cave Collection. You will also have the opportunity to meet Winemaker Nicole Marchesi as she pours barrel samples of the 2011 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon.
Proprietress Beth Nickel and President & CEO Larry Maguire will also be there to sign your big bottle purchases, so be sure to say hello!
For information, click here—or call (707) 944-2861.
27 2012on December
at 4:19 pm
Here's a quick look back at 2012–a year that brought us a bountiful harvest, the release of our 2009 Cabernet Sauvnignon and 2011 Chardonnay, and the opportunity to spend time with so many of our friends, old and new, at our special events.
2009 Cabernet Release Day (photos by Robb McDonough)
Aaron Fishleder and Peggy Alamano poured older vintages in our Cave Library.
The limited edition Arvid Case contains two bottles each of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a signed and numbered Arvid giclee, all packaged in a stunning black lacquer box. (Please call the winery at (707) 944-2861 with inquiries.)
Katherine Thomason poured the newly released 2009 Cabernet.
Sights Around the Winery (winery photos)
Each spring, tulips bring bright pops of color to the Far Niente landscaping. It's something we look forward to every year.
And with the washing of the bins, Harvest 2012 was on its way!
With the first bin of 2012 Far Niente Chardonnay, we gathered with Father Charles Garrity from the Carmelite Monastary next door for a harvest blessing and toast.
Hand sorting 2012 Far Niente Cabernet
Beth Nickel joined the crew for a much-deserved pizza party.
Renowned violinist Joshua Bell, Beth Nickel and Larry Maguire–a beautiful summer evening of wine, music and food.
Far Niente Holiday Reception (photos by Nanci Kerby)
We turned the Carriage House into a festive venue for wine, food and mingling.
The 2011 Far Niente Chardonnay started the party off right.
Far Niente Winemaker Nicole Marchesi and Wine Club Manager Julie Zanze poured 2009 Far Niente Cabernet.
For more images from this event, view our Facebook album.
See you in 2013!
I was recently asked what my favorite aspect of winemaking is. Maybe the obvious answer is, “Well, I like wine”—a fair enough answer but not really a good enough answer, in my mind. After all, so much of our time and energy is spent at work, isn’t it important to understand why it can fulfill us? So, I thought about it, and I’ve been listening to lectures on philosophy lately, so I channeled my inner ancient Greek and thought really hard about it.
I love the puzzle-solving aspect of making wine—the chance to figure out the best way to get from point A (the grapes) to point B (the wine). How do I go about expressing the full potential of each vineyard block? This requires the ability to plan ahead and think things through as well as physically bring these plans to fruition. And I like the opportunity to use my powers of reason and rationality as well as my instinctual and sensorial knowledge to make decisions. (Plato and Aristotle, are you listening?)
And after all this thinking and doing, what I ultimately love about this job is that I get to be involved in making a product that brings people such joy. Wine has the ability to bring people together in simple celebration and help to make memories. It can be shared in friendship and love, and I can’t help but be grateful knowing that my efforts each day have the potential to offer such pleasure. How very Epicurean!
17 2012on December
at 2:17 pm
We like to kick off the December holidays with a party for our wine club members here at Far Niente, and we did just that on December 8. Starting in the Carriage House with 2011 Far Niente Chardonnay, guests then mingled among the classic cars and enjoyed 2000, 2006 and 2009 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon along with an array of cheese and charcuterie and passed hors d’ oeuvres.
Desserts and Dolce polished off the evening in the Great Hall, decked for the holidays. A crackling fire, colorful sweets from our chef and 2007 Dolce made the space cozy indeed. As an extra treat, we served Dolce eggnog—yes, you read that right! Some of you asked for the recipe, which we’ve shared below.
For more images from the event, take a look at our event album on Facebook.
4 cups milk
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups Dolce
4 cups light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan. Heat over the lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves and allow to cool for about an hour.
Stir in Dolce, cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Yields 12 8-ounce servings
We sat down with Winemaker Nicole Marchesi to talk about 2011 Far Niente Chardonnay, which we have just released. Although the 2012 harvest is over, that doesn’t mean the work is finished. Nicole and her team still have much to do before spending the holidays with family and heading out on well-deserved vacations. We grabbed a few moments with her to taste and talk about this newest vintage of Far Niente Chardonnay.
How would you describe the 2011 Chardonnay?
This is classic Far Niente Chardonnay. It’s got melon and citrus, toasted oak notes, a little bit of nuttiness, a bit of minerality to it. It walks that fine line between rich and delicate. The wine is mouthfilling, yet elegant. It’s got silkiness and a clean, refreshing finish. I think that the oak and fruit have already integrated really well.
Far Niente Chardonnays are known for their ability to age. How will this wine develop over time?
As this Chardonnay ages, you will get less of the overtly fruity notes and more of the richer aromas. The palate will become rounder with time. The acidity of the wine is going to allow this Chardonnay to age a long time and not fall apart. Few Napa Valley Chardonnays can do this.
What stands out in your mind about harvesting or making the 2011 Chardonnay?
2011 presented a cool growing season, which is great for Chardonnay. We achieved good flavor development at lower sugar levels. There was some rain that year, but the way we responded in the vineyards and winery was spot on.
This is more of a European vintage in terms of the cooler weather and ripeness levels. Even so, I think the 2011 Far Niente Chardonnay is totally in line with the Far Niente style, but it also represents the vintage really well. The wine shows our ability to deal with Mother Nature’s curve balls.
What makes Far Niente Chardonnay distinctive?
What makes it special aromatically is that there is a lovely balance of oak and fruit. The wine is nuanced and really well knit together in the nose.
And then I think that the oiliness of the palate is something that makes Far Niente Chardonnay special. Part of that is the Charlemagne clone, which is exclusive to Far Niente, and grows in our vineyards. Having a blend of various vineyards and various clones adds to its complexity.
[Watch Larry Maguire share the story of the Charlemagne clone here.]
What food do you like to enjoy with Far Niente Chardonnay?
Oftentimes in our house, we start with it while we’re making dinner—we’ll have some nice cheese and Chardonnay and then have a Cabernet with dinner. But if we’re having a lighter meal, such as salmon or a vegetarian dish, we’ll enjoy Far Niente Chardonnay at dinner. We also love Chardonnay with a lighter pork dish, brined and grilled, with no heavy sauces that would compete with the wine.
Do you have any special food and wine holiday traditions?
We have an interesting one that we bring Far Niente Chardonnay and Dolce to. My mother-in-law’s family was from Hungary, so we have a traditional Hungarian Christmas Eve dinner. We start with a tangy sauerkraut and mushroom dumpling soup. We have Chardonnay with that—and with the fish course. This is fish that has been cooked and then suspended in plain gelatin, like aspic. My mother-in-law uses Chilean sea bass, so it’s really nice fish. (My husband says when he was little his grandmother would use a whole fish with the head and everything intact.)
And then we have this dish called kapusnik. That’s cabbage cake, and that is my responsibility. I shred heads of cabbage, and I salt it and squeeze the water out. And then I cook the cabbage with onion in two cubes of butter. And then I basically stir cabbage for an hour on the stove, until it gets soft and melty. Then I put in a bunch of black pepper and put the cabbage mixture between bread dough and bake it. It’s served with melted butter over it. It’s so good, so good!
And there are some traditional desserts that we have. Usually, we break out Dolce to celebrate because the whole family is together. Then, we all sing Christmas carols. It’s a wonderful pastime that’s different than my family’s tradition.
Kedves egészségére! (Here’s to your health!)
A behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.