Napa's Unsung Whites

1 of 4

Although the second most planted grape variety in Napa is Chardonnay—and the region is famous for it—Napa’s white wines have often been knocked as lacking the fruit and vibrancy found in wines grown in cooler areas.

And yet, these whites have a distinguished history. In the years following the repeal of Prohibition, Napa Valley Sémillon, Sylvaner, Folle Blanche, Traminer, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and many others, including Chardonnay, were esteemed on restaurant wine lists.

While great Napa Chardonnay remains rare, when it’s good, it’s very, very good.

The same can be said of other Napa whites, especially Sauvignon Blanc, arguably the region’s most expressive white wine.
Rhône-style white wines, including Viognier, are more questionable, but diligent searching will yield pay dirt.

Among the aromatic whites like Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Pinot Gris/Grigio, at their best they display classic Napa elegance and balance. The catch? There aren’t a lot of them. 

—Steve Heimoff, photos by Frédéric Lagrange

1 of 4

See Other Slideshows

7 National Tequila Day Cocktails

Rethink the blended margarita with these Tequila libations.

Clos de Vougeot: Burgundy’s Community Vineyard

At last count, 86 different producers have a piece of the Clos, the ancient Burgundy vineyard first planted in 1098.

13 Great 2011 Pinot Noirs

California's 2011 Pinot Noirs are complex, focused and vibrant.

Top Beer Trends of 2014

Six sip-worthy trends to watch for this year.

Napa's Unsung Whites

1 of 4

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Shop

>

Related Web Articles