One of the highlights of having friends who love wine is the fact that they know the good from the bad and everything in between. Visiting Napa with the author of Wine Travel Eats was a surprise adventure into wine and food, one I had no idea existed!
After days of wine tasting in Napa, exploring San Francisco and eating the most divine food, I thought that on day five the go-getter would let me sleep in , taking pity on poor little me… She did… a total of five minutes (generous right). An early start was worth it though for we had an appointment at the Far Niente Winery.
Driving up to it I felt like I was being transported into a European fairytale wonderland. Heading through the gates I knew for certain that I had been magically transported!
Before I continue, please note that I am not a wine connoisseur of any kind, this is from the perspective of someone who enjoys wine and is still seeking out the notes of pavement and wet leather (*shiver*).
This has to be, hands down, one of the most beautiful wineries I have ever been to (and by day 5, that was many). Coupled with the incredible wine it was a morning of heavenly filled sensory delights!
Like I mentioned before, Far Niente (meaning without a care) is a treat not only to the mouth and nose but also to the eyes. Walking up to their main building I found myself pulling back,
needing wanting more time to take all the beauty in.
On entering their main building I was even more lost in scenery heaven. Everywhere you look there is an old world feel, much like colonial furniture passed down lovingly from great great grandparents.
From their beautiful windows with ornate candles right through to the furniture that whispers old world elegance and prestige, Far Niente was setting the stage on which most paled next to them.
After chatting a little while upstairs I followed the Guru on a tour of where they make the wine. These steel tanks are holding future generations of Far Niente wine.
Next stop on the tour was the room I like to call “Adoption Room” where they have all their wines bottled and in crates ready for new homes.
Now, my fellow South Africans, fellow humans who have never been to Napa, caves in Napa do not hold bushman paintings or random pieces of clothing like they do back home. No, these hold barrels upon barrels of wine that will make your soul sing.
Not only caves but
secret members only rooms that feel so Da Vinci code I didn’t want to leave!
Gorgeous right? So old world I felt like a voyeur on years gone past.
When I was eventually pulled out of the caves we exited to a wonderland that would have all of you with window and door fetishes proverbially drooling.
Walking down towards their member only area of the gardens I found myself wondering when my fairy wings would appear. Every little detail is not skipped, understated elegance and beauty was every where to be seen.
Ok so you’re probably wondering when I’ll actually talk about the Far Niente wines. During our tour we enjoyed a number of the Far Niente wines. Now I have to be honest with you, sometimes I’m a bit like the ostrich that sees a flashy label or bottle and want it because of its beauty only to try and drink it and it tastes like old fermented elephant dung.
Far Niente wines look beautiful in their bottles with intricate details that, on first glance, have you falling in love with their whole range. Once poured into your glass the intense aromas transport you to warm summer days… The wine, oh man the wine, once in your mouth seems to dance full of delicious flavor much like Andre Rieu. Ok press play and listen…
Although I am yet to taste leather and pavement in the wine I drink, Far Niente wines definitely fall into the “Do not share, hide from the visitors” category. Yes, they’re that good!
Far Niente, a by appointment only winery, is one not to be missed when visiting Napa in California. The whole experience right from the minute you drive along the tree lined road to the incredible wines and fairytale gardens is truly like taking a mini holiday within a holiday.
For the professional winery review please read “Far Niente, Napa, California“
* This article has been written with artistic license, all thoughts and opinions are my own.