Goodbye Mustard, Hello Sheep! For the past two months, the golden mustard waving between the rows in our Martin Stelling and John C. Sullenger Vineyards has cast its spell on visitors to our wineries, while its biofumigant properties worked a different magic above and below the soils: warding off microscopic invaders, attracting beneficial insects and preventing erosion.
Now, with the final days of our colorful cover crops winding down … we’re welcoming the sheep! As we seek to embrace more natural farming practices to foster and preserve the biodiversity of our vineyards and Napa Valley landscape, this small herd of Corriedale sheep will help in big ways!
Bringing sheep into our vineyards will help promote the ecology and biodversity of our vineyards in a number of ways, says Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards' Director of Vineyard Operations John McCarthy. These are a key few:
Naturally Control Weeds. They’re a baa-utiful alternative to pesticides (we just couldn’t resist the pun).
Reduce Carbon Emissions. Normally, we’d pass a tractor between the rows to turn over the soil and pull up weeds.
Aid Soil Fertility. As these natural lawn mowers nibble their way down the rows, they’ll transform the cover crops and weeds into nutrient-rich manure for our vines.
Bonus: They’ll look adorable among the vines! But, John adds this important note:
"Please do not enter the sheep’s area and DO NOT pet, feed or make fun of the guard dog. He is working and takes his job very seriously."
The sheep started munching through our Sullenger Vineyard at Nickel & Nickel in late February. "We got the slow eaters, evidently," says John, however, they should make their way over to Far Niente’s Martin Stelling Vineyard in mid-March.
And yes, they will feast upon the last of the mustard blooms. If you missed seeing the beauty of mustard season firsthand … we invite you to bring the flavors of spring in the Napa Valley to your kitchen, with this recipe for Mustard-Crusted Beef Tenderloin and Roasted Brassica. Slice it thin, top it with our classic red wine shallot sauce, fill your glasses with the velvety dark fruit of our Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon, and let the flavors of wine country unfold.
In anticipation of our annual Cave Collection release, we sat down with Winemaker Nicole Marchesi to talk about Far Niente's Cave Collection and the keys to making age-worthy Napa Valley Cabernet. Read on to hear what she has to say. Then mark your calendars for the January 17 release from Far Niente's Cave Collection. This year’s allocation is one of our most limited to date, with less than 100 bottles available for our most sought-after vintages.
"Each vintage is our opportunity to make our greatest wine. It's what inspires us in the vineyard and winery."LEARN MORE
Non-malolactic fermentation. Although the phrase doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, Chardonnays made without it certainly can. And it’s essential to our Far Niente Chardonnay house style.LEARN MORE
Meet Six Women Shaping the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards.
Two winemakers. One CFO. Two VPs. And the woman who helped launch Far Niente more than 40 years ago. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down to talk with just a few of the women shaping the way we grow, make, sell and share our wines. From the cellar to the board room, these daring innovators and leaders share a passion for human connection and a sense of adventure.LEARN MORE