On the Napa road with Jay McInerney
on 07/11/10 at 9:47 amWine
Are we still in the Napa Valley? Certainly not the Napa I’m familiar with. We have turned off Highway 29 into a dense housing development, a maze of nearly identical, recently constructed single-family residences. I’ve spent the day at some of the valley’s iconic wineries, touring cellars gleaming with stainless steel tanks, fragrant with new oak barrels, admiring houses featured in Architectural Digest and the Wine Spectator. My driver, Dan Petroski, works by day at Larkmead, one of Napa’s premier producers, but he’s off duty now. Mr. Petroski, who studied winemaking in Sicily before moving to Napa, has a personal winemaking project, Massican, named after a mountain range in the southern Italian region of Campania and produces crisp, intensely flavored white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla and Viognier. And he has a band of brothers engaged in similarly arcane winemaking ventures.