Winemaker Dan Petroski approaches things with a different frame of mind than most Napa Valley winemakers, and is unafraid to follow his passion in new directions. This attitude is what inspired him to jump from a publishing career to the wine world, and what keeps him pushing forward when he could easily rest on his 100-point score at Larkmead, his status as San Francisco Chronicle’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year, and on the glowing press that now celebrates his every move—not to mention the bevy of Michelin-rated restaurants that serve his wines.
Inspired by his nostalgia for Italy, Dan launched Massican to celebrate traditional Northern Italian varieties that are rare in California. Gaspare brings Dan back to Italy, the cradle of his career, to make a true Italian wine, a blend of Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Chardonnay that combines the expressiveness and rule-flouting style of two of his biggest influences: Domaine Didier Dagueneau of Pouilly-Fumé and Sean Thackrey of Northern California.
The refreshing and food-friendly Massican wines are served at just about every winemaker’s party in Napa, and a pantheon of vintners—old-guard and new—can be spotted at the allocation pickup parties Dan throws at his house. These are not just signs of how the Valley admires Dan, but also of how it absolutely adores these delicious wines.
And who wouldn’t?! The 2017 Massican Gaspare Friuli Colli Orientali White Wine is one of the freshest, most interesting white wines made by any American winemaker today. Gaspare combines fantastic citrus and orchard flavors with minerality and elegance in a combination that rarely surfaces, and almost never for $30. This is one of the rare times it’s escaped from Dan’s mailing list and exclusive restaurants.
The Massican line consists almost exclusively of Dan’s Italian-influenced California white wines, and the 2017 Gaspare, from the world-class Italian white wine region of Friuli, is his second release wine from the country where he began his journey. Massican is an affordable luxury—it is the crisp, refreshing, impeccably made white and there is no winemaker in greater demand than Dan Petroski right now.