Beth Nickel, Partner & Proprietress
As the Proprietress of Napa Valley wineries Far Niente, Dolce, Nickel & Nickel and EnRoute in the Russian River Valley, Beth Nickel is involved in the wineries’ marketing and public relations programs, interior and landscape design projects, and she serves as a winery spokesperson at local and national events.
Born in Wisconsin and raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Beth grew up in the nursery business. She earned an Associate of Arts degree at St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee, OK, followed by a degree in marketing and retailing from Oklahoma State University. She pursued a career in the airline industry for several years after college. It was through her father, a forester and nurseryman, that she met Gil Nickel, a fellow Oklahoman who was involved in his family’s nursery business at the time. The Nickel family still owns Greenleaf Nursery, the second-largest family owned wholesale nursery in the United States. Gil, however, harbored a dream to establish a world-class winery, and it was this endeavor that finally brought Gil and Beth together.
Although Far Niente was founded in 1885, the winery’s modern era dates from 1979, when Gil and Beth rescued the long-abandoned stone winery in Oakville, and began restoration of the historic estate. It was their dream to establish a “Napa Valley Wine Estate” that would share the stage with the great wine estates of the world, and gain a reputation for excellence that would reach far beyond the borders of the Napa Valley. Like many highly regarded wineries of the world, Far Niente was created to last for generations.
When she’s not occupied with winery business, Beth avidly pursues the pleasures of the great outdoors. She makes regular visits to the many national parks of the United States, and enjoys camping, hiking, backpacking and cycling. A true student of world culture, she has visited many of the great international cities, and brings home antiques, vintage textiles, ceramics and other pieces reflective of the countries she has visited. She has always been a benefactor to children’s charities locally and abroad, and more recently, she has taken up the cause of fund-raising to support cancer research in honor of Gil, who lost a courageous battle with melanoma in the fall of 2003.
Today, Beth is joined by Dirk Hampson, Larry Maguire and Erik and Jeremy Nickel, who form the partnership charged with keeping vibrant the Far Niente mission she and Gil established so many years ago.