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Winery Events for 2013

on December 10, 2012

The new year isn’t quite here yet, but we’ve already planned a selection of wonderful events at both Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries. Take a look at the events below, and mark your calendars. We’ll have more information about each event as the dates approach. We hope to see you!

Cabernet Release Day at Far Niente

February 2: Be the first to taste and acquire the 2010 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon! You will also have the opportunity to taste aged treasures from Cave Collection and preview our 2011 Cabernet with Winemaker Nicole Marchesi.

By appointment: (707) 944-2861, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Nickel & Nickel Open House

February 2: Indulge in an array of our specially selected single-vineyard wines. Enjoy current releases, along with tastes of aged Cabernets and a sneak peak of our spring release wines.

By appointment: (707) 967-9600, 10:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.

Futures Barrel Tasting at Nickel & Nickel

May 18: Preview our 2012 Single-Vineyard Cabernets from this bountiful and delicious vintage and reserve your favorite wines at special futures pricing.

By appointment: (707) 967-9600, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Bacchanalia at Nickel & Nickel

June 15: Join us in the Barrel Cellar for a sumptuous celebration of food and wine. You will partake in a multi-course feast paired with a gorgeous selection of our single-vineyard wines. Seating is limited.

By appointment: (707) 967-9600, 6:00 p.m.

Cabernet Release Day at Nickel & Nickel

August 10: Celebrate the release of our 2010 Single-Vineyard Cabernets! Be the first to taste these wines, and take home your favorites from our newest vintage.

By appointment: (707) 967-9600, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Far Niente Chardonnay Celebration

August 10: Relax beneath the cork oaks with tastes of current and past vintages of Far Niente Chardonnay paired with bites from the kitchen.

By appointment: (707) 944-2861, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Harvest Party at Nickel & Nickel

September 28: Join us in the Gleason Barn for a celebration of the harvest season, complete with behind-the-scenes harvest tours, wine and paired bites.

By appointment: (707) 967-9600

Holiday Reception at Far Niente:

December 7: Toast the holidays with us at Far Niente and enjoy the music and culinary treats of the season, along with current and past vintages of Far Niente and Dolce.

By appointment: (707) 944-2861, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.



Vineyard Profile: John C. Sullenger Vineyard

on December 6, 2012

If you’’ve visited Nickel & Nickel winery–and we hope you have–you’’ve seen the John C. Sullenger vineyard wrapping the southern and eastern sides of the winery property located in the heart of the Oakville AVA. The Napa River provides a natural border to the vineyard’’s eastern edge. Named for the man who settled on the property in the 1880s, the vineyard has 30 acres planted solely to Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Sullenger House at the turn of the century

The vineyard is located at the tip of a alluvial fan that extends from the Mayacamas Mountains on the eastern side of Napa Valley. The soils are a mixture of fluvial deposits and clay loam from the Bale loam series. Expertly farmed by our Vinescape vineyard management crew, Sullenger produces healthy vines, and as each harvest approaches, Winemaker Darice Spinelli has the convenience of walking right out the door to sample fruit and bring it back to the lab for analysis.

An aerial view of John C. Sullenger Vineyard, looking northwest, up the valley

Next week, we talk with Viticulturist Aaron Fishleder for his take on what makes Sullenger Vineyard unique.


What Does a Winery Chef Do?

on November 29, 2012

I thought I would use this blog as an opportunity to explain what a winery chef does. Not that I want to burst anyone’s bubble, but we don’t have a restaurant at the winery–though I wish we did. My job as Executive Chef is to pair food to the wonderful single-vineyard wines we produce. I take extensive notes while tasting through different wines and vintages with the winemaker, and I use that knowledge to construct locally focused, seasonal dishes that highlight particular flavors and aromas in each wine.

Every year, we add dishes to our master cookbook and then share a few of these with you throughout the year in our newsletter and on our website. Who, you ask, gets to enjoy this wonderful harmony of food and wine? All of the food for the wine club events is prepared by our in-house culinary team. Food and wine pairings, or lunch, can be arranged for private parties instead of the traditional tastings. We also support the winery with charities, promotions and sales.

I look forward to seeing you at of our wine club events (stay tuned for our 2013 event calendar), and I wish you happy holidays.

A behind-the-scenes snapshot of a video shoot I participated in this week. Look for the video–and a recipe and wine pairing–in our December newsletter!


Signs of the Season

on November 11, 2012

When the temperatures dip and the skies have more gray than blue to them, our minds turn to Cabernet. It’s a natural reaction—one that, perhaps, you share. The mere thought of a hearty, red wine paired with a filling meal can have a warming effect.

If you’re planning a trip to Napa Valley this winter—and trust us, December and January are wonderful months to visit the valley with much lighter traffic and easy reservations at your favorite restaurants and wineries—give us a call. We’ll set you up for a tour and tasting, which will include a selection of (you guessed it) our single-vineyard Cabernets.

In the meantime, enjoy these images of fall at Nickel & Nickel. The skies may be grayer and the temps chillier, but there is still plenty of beauty to enjoy in the Napa Valley!

Bulbs are ready for planting—stay tuned for a springtime burst of color!

Our horses enjoy the good life: Mariah, the Paint on the left, is a retired barrel racing and pleasure trail horse; Aria is a Swedish Warm Blood and is a retired competitive dressage horse.

Morning Glory intertwines with the last of summer’s pole beans in the vegetable garden.

Our olive trees are heavy with fruit destined for the olive oil press and Chef Trevor’s kitchen.

Speaking of presses, this gorgeous color comes from Cabernet in our basket press.

The Sullenger Vineyard vines are preparing for dormancy.

A familiar view to our visitors: Sullenger House and the shapes and colors of the season. 


Fall-time Planting for Your Spring-time Visit

on November 9, 2012

It’s the time of the year when we go underground. The bulbs are here and in force. Our November planting will sustain three-plus months of flowering this spring along Highway 29 in front of the Nickel & Nickel property.  This year we have two all-season mixes: one consisting of blues, lavenders and purples, and the other a blend of many different reds and yellows. The idea is to have a longer bloom cycle rather than have everything go all at once. But there are a few surprises in the mix; I can’t give up all my secrets! You’ll just have to come pay us a visit this spring.

A preview of what we will be enjoying this spring.

The show will begin in early March and carries into the end of May. Throughout the spring flowering, we’ll enjoy a procession of non-stop narcissus and daffodils, creating a sea of gold among the towering tulips. The contrast between the beautiful Nickel & Nickel backdrop and the extensive planted bed in front is truly show-stopping. This is what I call curb appeal to the maximum.

There is one more part to this magical display. I have handcrafted a custom, wildflower blend to top-dress in late November, saturating the soils beneath the tulips and daffodils, creating a carpet of green. Once the bulbs have had their months in the spotlight, the wildflowers will take full command and color, reaching ever higher. The show must go on…