Nickel & Nickel is located in Oakville, just across Highway 29 from the well-known Robert Mondavi Winery, on 42 acres originally settled as a farmstead in the 1880s. The winery’s collection of classic barns along with the property’s original Queen Anne home brings this historic site back to life, while at the same time housing a contemporary winery capable of producing custom single vineyard, 100 percent varietal wines.
This conspicuous property was first developed by John C. Sullenger, successful prospector and owner of gold, silver and quicksilver mines here and in the Sierra. One of the area’s early settlers, he had acquired the property in 1865.
Nickel & Nickel bought it in 1998 from Far Niente vineyard manager Alex Vyborny for $100,000 an acre — at the time an unheard of price. Grapes planted on the site had been part of the Far Niente cabernet sauvignon blend.
Visitors are welcomed at the restored 1884 Queen Anne home built by Sullenger from the profits of his mines. The Sullenger house includes tasting salons and an open-air wrap-around porch on the main level, as well as a large cellar space used for hospitality events.
One of the operation’s distinct barns was originally erected circa 1770 in Meriden, N.H., by the Gleason family. The 3,000 square foot pre-Revolutionary War-era hay barn was spared demolition when it was purchased in 2001.
After nearly two years spent dismantling the barn, designing blueprints, restoring and saving the original hand-hewn white pine and hemlock beams, fashioned in post-and-beam, wood-pegged construction, the barn was shipped in pieces to the Napa Valley. It was reassembled at the winery to house offices and a laboratory for the winemaking staff.
The adjacent 5,800 square foot fermentation barn is made from reclaimed century-old fir beams and has been assembled using age-old techniques of hand-joinery for post-and-beam construction common in the 1880s.
The 19th century style building houses 21st century equipment uniquely suited to custom making small lot, single vineyard wines, including 26 computer- and temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks of three sizes, floating aluminum catwalks and night flow air ventilation.
For a personalized wine tasting experience, contact our chief wine taster Chris Edwards email@example.com
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