Location. Few words are as critical to fine winemaking. But the location of the vineyard is still only as good as the expertise and passion needed to craft exceptional wines. And it’s the pursuit of perfecting our craft and a thirst for knowledge layered with these lands, soils, sun, and slopes that have enabled us to achieve winemaking at this level.
On the valley floor between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains sits the town of Oakville, the heart and soul of extraordinary Napa Cabernet. It was here in 1997 that the partners of Nickel & Nickel had a vision for a winery that made the most out of land seemingly preordained for creating powerful, nuanced, highly acclaimed wines. After multiple discussions and conversations, a deal was struck and it was off to the races. Here is where our daring story all began. But it was just the beginning.
Vision. Audacity. Passion. These are the pillars that both drove the founders of Nickel & Nickel and still ring true to this day. It took ambition and fortitude to not only cast a vision for our single-vineyard winery but also to cultivate it (in every sense of the word). While many people ponder pursuing their outlandish dreams, we decided to go all-in to live ours out.
With the philosophy of no risk, no reward as our guide, Nickel & Nickel became, and remains, the only Napa Valley winery devoted solely to producing 100%-varietal, single-vineyard wines.
Forgive us a moment of immodesty here. But we had doubters. We had naysayers. Yet we also had access to prime areas of both the Napa and Russian River Valleys. And we had a winemaker and cellar team devoted to the mission, who relished the concept of single-vineyard production and who continuously astonish wine devotees vintage after vintage.
Devoting ourselves wholly to single-vineyard, single-varietal winemaking was not a mission for the faint of heart. But few great undertakings are. It is, however, what sets Nickel & Nickel apart, and what will keep driving us for decades to come.
A laser-like focus on single-vineyard wines is what makes Nickel & Nickel so captivating and so special. It’s our calling card, and it allows wine lovers the adventure of finding the subtle but exciting differences in each of our wines.
Below, discover what we've discovered about the land, the vineyards, and the extraordinary possibilities they offer. Learning this land, having the experience and intuition to understand how to cultivate and maximize its potential are what allowed us to create single-vineyard wines with the level of success we attained.
How does one distinguish between one vineyard to the next? Our decades of experience in and knowledge of the Napa Valley and Russian River Valley regions guide us time and time again to discover diamonds in the rough and pristine parcels of land awaiting the opportunity to bear the finest wine grapes imaginable.
In the end, so much of winemaking is about farming. It’s about understanding the land, communicating with the soil, the vines, and the grapes in a way that perhaps not everyone can grasp, but all can taste and appreciate. The viticulture team at Nickel & Nickel farms with a precision, intuition, and depth of knowledge that allows each vineyard to offer its very best. Every aspect of every vineyard must meet our most exacting standards, including the soil, rootstock, clonal selection, exposure, and even our farming practices. In this way, vineyards that are in some cases less than a mile apart—and growing the same varietal—may produce a wine of remarkably different character.
That is what makes Nickel & Nickel so singularly special.
Single-Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is our specialty and focus, but our love of winemaking — and the particulars of each vineyard — afford us the opportunity to pursue excellence in other varietals as well.
Single-vineyard, 100 percent varietal Napa Valley Cabernet is our specialty. Our Cabernet collection includes vineyards from as far north as Calistoga to the Oak Knoll District at the southern mouth of the Napa Valley, on valley floor bench lands and rugged hillside slopes. At any given time, a tasting of our Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Cabernets provides an overview of the vintage for the entire Napa Valley.Shop Our Cabernet Sauvignon
We currently make one single-vineyard Chardonnay, from the rolling hills of Napa Valley's Carneros AVA. Here, the winds and cool fog roll in from the San Pablo Bay, allowing our vines to grow slowly, patiently -and allowing us to preserve the fruit flavors, balanced acidity and minerality that make Chardonnays as distinct as the vineyard blocks they come from.Shop our Chardonnays
Merlot is often thought of as the little brother of Cabernet Sauvignon and the two varietals are frequently blended together. Yet, when grown in the right places, Merlot makes an exquisite wine all on its own. We’ve identified three Napa Valley vineyards that show entirely different and we think delicious expressions of 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard Napa Valley Merlot.SHOP OUR MERLOTS
Stretching across the sloping hills of the Russian River Valley, a short drive west of Nickel & Nickel’s Napa Valley vineyards, is the Darien Vineyard — singular among our locations in that it produces the only Syrah in our portfolio. With each vintage, we craft our Syrah to retain its dusty black fruit flavors, muscular tannins and long, luscious finish.SHOP OUR SYRAHS
Out of the finest soil grow our spoils. These locations across the Napa Valley and Russian River Valley regions form the foundation of our efforts. On these special plots of paradise, our Nickel & Nickel winemaker cultivates the perfect wine grapes.
You know no two wines, and indeed no two vintages, taste exactly the same. Seasonal variations fashion different flavors for each vintage year after year, equaling a constant sensory adventure for your palate.
But it’s more than just annual metamorphosis and meteorological variation that give each vineyard its own characteristics. In a land as rich and storied as Napa Valley, single-vineyard wines can vary dramatically crafted from vineyards less than a mile apart. This is particularly due to the precise and unique soil under any given acre of land in this region, its rootstock and geological history combine to invite wonderful surprises with each new creation. That’s what makes Napa Valley wines so astounding, and we believe it’s part of what makes Nickel & Nickel wines so special.
We invite you to take a look at a soil sample from each of our Cabernet vineyards to compare and contrast. Note the differences in coloration, texture, and density bestowed on each parcel thanks to millennia of natural transformation among the myriad microclimates.
The particular arrangement of steep slopes, mountainsides, and foothills that fall to valley floors surrounding Oakville and Yountville, overlaid with warmer temperatures, procure a stunning variety of soil in the Upper Napa Valley that combine to create the perfect microclimates for subtle and rich single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Arrive in the Lower Napa Valley in the morning, and you’ll be greeted by rolling fog and cool, invigorating air, all making way for balmy afternoons. These conditions are integral to the production of the best Chardonnays. But this region also houses one of our Merlot vineyards, located atop an elevated patch that provides long hang time and beautiful, richly-flavored and textured fruit. This area is also where we grow our Oak Knoll Cabernet, which proves the subtle diversity and tact we use in selecting vineyards for these distinct varietals.