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Old Napa Vintages Worth the Trip

Two of Napa Valley’s favourite boutique wineries—Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel—are now allowing visitors to book relaxed, private tastings that introduce them to samplings of exclusive cellared bottles going back a decade.

Far Niente has created a much more personal experience with this service, where guests can relax in the expansive gardens and enjoy the Private Cave Collection Tasting ($100 per person) with four aged selections of the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, as well as current releases. The winery offers a Private Estate Tasting ($75 per person) with four different wines from the Far Niente group.

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At Nickel & Nickel, tasters can gather on the wraparound porch, in the wine cellar of the historic John C. Sullenger House, or in the restored 19th-century Gleason Barn. The vineyard’s Private Terroir Tasting ($125 per person) presents a north-to-south sampling of eight single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, which includes limited-production bottlings only available at the winery.

Wine tasting at Nickel & Nickel have long been favoured by connoisseurs of fine wine as they introduce the senses to a palette of acquired tastes and textures.

The Private Single Vineyard Classic Tasting ($75) comprises four single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernets and demonstrates how dramatically wine can be affected by minute variations in location.

All of the private tastings last an hour and the wineries will waive one tasting fee for a six-bottle purchase or wine club signup. This is a unique opportunity to marvel the Far Niente 125-year-old stone estate building, sitting under cork oak trees planted by the original owner in the late 1800s.