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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), was founded in 1885 by John Benson and flourished until the advent of prohibition. Abandoned for over 60 years, the old stone shell of a winery was purchased in 1979 by Gil Nickel. He started the long process of restoring it as a part of his quest to create a great Napa Valley wine estate. As the vines and the debris were cleared, he found the original name, Far Niente, carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day. 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. Their Stelling Vineyard of 100 acres, is located against the west hills of Oakville, contiguous to the winery...
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