Far Niente Winery’s origins date to 1871 when gold miner turned farmer, John Benson, acquired land in Napa’s Oakville. He made Muscat wine and built a stone winery in 1885. Named “In Dolce Far Niente,” it featured a sleeping girl on the label. The property changed hands and became dilapidated over the years. In 1979, Gil Nickel and partners restored it, and the first modern vintage was 1979. Chardonnay was the initial focus, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982. The winery now exclusively produces these two varieties, aging in French oak.