Napa Valley whites do not evoke bucolic sentiments. No one expects to find the charms of hyper-local, aromatic whites finding harmony with local foods over generations. But California’s latest re-invention has birthed producers in Napa doing just that. Massican is a standard bearer for the style.
Daily Drinking Local White
Northeast Italy hosts the country’s greatest white wine regions in Friuli and Alto Adige. The former has inspired various winemakers in California through the smuggled Ribolla plantings of George Vare and the influence of Josko Gravner. The history of Italian immigration into that part of California is a nice backdrop to the success of the Friulian white varieties in Sonoma and Napa.
The Annia is Massican’s flagship wine and is a blend of Tocai Friuliano, Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla that varies depending on vintage, but that is generally driven by the Tocai. The wine is fermented in steel and neutral oak and offers a delicious, highly drinkable amalgam of orchard fruits, minerality and a mouth-watering saline finish.
Massican’s owner and winemaker Dan Petroski is also winemaker at Larkmead. It was his desire for local, fresh wines to go with daily meals that lead him to start Massican, which has since been very influential in prompting others to make daily drinkers in California’s most famous wine regions. These are not projects driven by maximizing dollars per acre, but pursue a philosophy and belief that a life well lived lies in its daily pleasures. I highly appreciate that commitment as it’s bleeding out of our modern society at a disturbing speed.
~$25 USD at Bi-Rite Market, SF