We’ve spent the past week bottling our Napa Valley Chardonnay here at the estate. With its filler spouts and cork applicators, the bottling line ranks low in terms of glamour and/or romance. Maintaining exacting bottling standards, however, is an essential part of the winemaking process. And, for our winemaking team here at Far Niente, watching those bottles go into their branded wooden boxes is every bit as poetic as the previous months spent shepherding the wines from vineyard to tank and then to barrel.
When they're on the bottling line, our team is incredibly present, focused on the immediate task at hand. They spend countless hours working to ensure that the wine isn’t exposed to too much oxygen on the line (oxygen management is critical!), and that every step is consistent from bottle to bottle. From temperature control to top-quality sanitation to using only the best closures, it's a hands-on, time-intensive process. If there is ever a place for micro-management, the bottling line is it!
Every time we bottle a new vintage we intentionally reserve a selection of bottles to be labeled and capsuled for our Far Niente Cave Collection. We believe that our Napa Valley Chardonnay benefits from extended aging, with the bright fruit and refreshing acidity of youth gently evolving into a wine that’s creamy and layered, with a rich palate profile.
This belief is a reflection of our unwavering choice – starting with our very first vintage in 1979 – to make our Chardonnay with an absence of malolactic fermentation, which allows us to retain the grape’s natural acidity. Farming incredible Napa Valley vineyards doesn’t hurt either! Depending upon the bottle size and how it is cellared, our Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay can be enjoyed five to 10 years beyond the vintage date, and longer.
Even before we started bottling, the 2015 vintage of Far Niente Chardonnay presented mouthwatering acidity, tropical-floral aromatics and citrus-mineral notes. We cannot wait to taste its further development in the bottle when we finally release it later this year!
Introducing our Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley! Deeply reflective of Far Niente’s nearly four decades of crafting majestic Napa Cabernet, our Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley marries fruit from our estate vineyard in Oakville with hand-selected Cabernet lots from Calistoga, Oak Knoll, St. Helena, Stags Leap, Diamond Mountain, and Yountville.LEARN MORE
Non-malolactic fermentation. Although the phrase doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, Chardonnays made without it certainly can. And it’s essential to our Far Niente Chardonnay house style.LEARN MORE
On the eve of our 2020 harvest, EnRoute Winemaker Michael Accurso penned this letter to all of our teams here at EnRoute and at the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards. We wanted to share his compelling, uplifting words with all of our winery family and friends.LEARN MORE