Joe Harden Named Winemaker for Nickel & Nickel
Nickel & Nickel announced Joe Harden as winemaker for the Napa Valley winery, known for its single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Harden comes to Nickel & Nickel from Robert Mondavi Winery, where he was the winemaker for Bordeaux varietals and oversaw production of the renowned To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
In his new position, Harden will produce Nickel & Nickel’s expansive portfolio of 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard Cabernets from the valley’s most significant AVAs, including Oakville, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, St. Helena and others. A selection of single-vineyard Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah rounds out the collection.
“I am honored to take on the role of winemaker at Nickel & Nickel and further expand upon the innovative single-vineyard mission established at the winery with its founding in 1997,” commented Harden.
Nickel & Nickel winery is dedicated exclusively to producing 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinct personality of each vineyard, and is part of the Far Niente Family of Wineries and Vineyards, the portfolio of luxury wineries that includes Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, Dolce and Bella Union in the Napa Valley, as well as the EnRoute winery located in the Russian River Valley.
Upon Harden’s completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis in 2011, the 6’7’ college athlete put his oenology career on hold for a year while he tested the waters of a professional basketball career with the NBA D League Warriors in California and then the Ballarat Miners in Melbourne, Australia. The rigors of the professional circuit, however, led to his return to California in 2012, where he began an internship at Robert Mondavi Winery under the tutelage of winemaker Geneviève Janssens. He advanced to enologist in 2013 and was named winemaker in 2014.
“I look forward to welcoming Joe to the talented group of winemakers that comprise the Far Niente family of fine wines. With his contributions, we will continue to expand and improve upon the foundations of fine winemaking for which we’ve become known, and will build on the reputation for luxury, quality and excellence that continues to serve us so well,” stated Andrew Delos, Director of Winemaking for the Far Niente Family of Wineries and Vineyards.
“Joe comes to us with a proven track record of making fine Cabernets from Oakville and the surrounding Napa Valley and we look forward to his future contributions at Nickel & Nickel. His previous successes in winemaking and on the court ensure a level of teamwork that will benefit the mission of the Far Niente Family,“ noted Far Niente Wine Estates CEO Steve Spadarotto.
About Nickel & Nickel
Nickel & Nickel winery, located in Oakville, Napa Valley, is dedicated exclusively to producing 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinct personality of each vineyard. Established by the partners of Far Niente in 1997, Nickel & Nickel is focused on producing single- vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the appellation’s most significant AVAs.
About the Far Niente Family of Wineries and Vineyards
Far Niente was established in Oakville, CA in 1885 and prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when the winery ceased operation and the estate was abandoned. Sixty years later, in 1979, the old stone shell of a winery underwent a three-year renovation, which restored the building to its original, 19th century grandeur. During restoration the name, “Far Niente,” which romantically translated means “without a care” was found carved in stone of the front of the building.
Far Niente helped create the high-end Napa Valley wine market and has served as the benchmark wine estate for more than three decades. Dolce, the only North American winery devoted to a single-late harvest Napa Valley wine was introduced in 1989. Nickel & Nickel, launched in 1997, is focused on producing single-vineyard, 100 percent varietal, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. EnRoute, established in 2007 in the Russian River Valley, is dedicated to the appellation’s Pinot Noir. Most recently Bella Union, devoted to Napa Valley Cabernet and located along Bella Oaks Lane in Rutherford, introduced its first wine with the 2012 vintage. Together with Vinescape, its vineyard management arm, the wineries comprise the Far Niente Family of Wineries and Vineyards.