Far Niente was founded by John Benson, uncle of the famous American painter Winslow Homer and a member of the California Gold Rush in 1885. The property’s building was constructed by Hamden McIntyre, also the founder of Christian Brothers Winery which is the Culinary Institute of the United States today. Far Niente was a successful wine estate until the onset of Prohibition in 1919. It banned all production of alcoholic beverages. During construction, John Benson wanted to dig wine cellars in solid rock but passed away before he could do so. In 1980, Alf Burtleson was given the opportunity to excavate these wine cellars. It became the first cellar to be built in North America at the turn of the century. Today, these cellars are 40,000 square feet. The name "Far Niente" comes from an Italian expression meaning "without a care". Cultivated exclusively in Oakville, the estate’s most iconic Cabernet is Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. Their winemaker selects the best parcels to produce the highest expression of the domain’s Cabernet. Their Chardonnay shines in its youth with notes of tropical fruit and complex aromas. It develops a sophisticated palate on the finish.