Whats Haute: Napa Valley – Newton Wine Tasting Bar, The Ranch on Soda Rock, Étoile

Far Niente


The beauty of Napa Valley instantly envelops guests as they arrive at the estate of Far Niente. The winding path leading to the winery is carpeted in a variety of vibrant blooming flowers and acts as a yellow-brick road leading to the glittering land of Oz. More than 8,000 azalea blossoms (the largest planting in California) blanket the 13 acres of gardens in complementary shades of fuchsia and cotton candy. Other natural delights that adorn the property include 100 autumn gold ginkgo trees, and a canopy of dogwoods, redwoods, acacias, and century-old cork oaks. With a history that dates back to 1885, the estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was revived in 1979 after a 60-year slumber due to Prohibition. But a tradition steeped in such rich history doesn’t mean that owner Gil Nickel is stuck in the past. Far Niente received worldwide recognition in 2008 for their new technology, Floatovoltaic, which enables them to use solar panels floating on pontoons in their irrigation pond for a net-zero energy bill. Landscaping and technology aside, the estate-bottled chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon show that contrary to its name, which means “without a care,” Far Niente deeply cares about the quality and taste of its grapes.

1350 Acacia Drive

Newton Wine Tasting Bar


 And for $20,000 you won’t find any wood glue here; the glass shelves are held in place by steel cables reclaimed from an architectural site.

The worlds of fashion and art have always melded together, blurring the lines between the au currant industries. With an innovative new piece, now the worlds of wine and art are doing the same. Napa Valley-based Newton Vineyard, established in 1977, has teamed up with U.K. designer Claire Danthois to create a luxury wine tasting bar. Re-inspired Elements: A Tasting Installation is a conversation piece in fine art and high-end furniture. The shape of the wine bar screams ultra-modern, while the composition of the materials is a tribute to Old World substance. The construction of the wine tasting bar is a recycled blend of a 300-year old oak from a wine merchant in Danthois’ hometown of Bristol and wine barrels used to age Newton’s red wines. And for $20,000 you won’t find any wood glue here; the glass shelves are held in place by steel cables reclaimed from an architectural site. Only five exist in the world, with only four available for sale. The fifth one will find a permanent home at the Newton estate in St. Helena.

Newton Vineyard
St. Helena