The Golden State of Napa Valley

February 26, 2015 12:09 PM

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The Golden State of Napa Valley

DENNIS CAKEBREAD SHRUGS his shoulders and smiles. The co-owner of Napa’s Cakebread Cellars is responding to my question about the excitement surrounding the region’s 2013 vintage, which has been described by Napa winemakers as “epic.” “We’re in California. It’s always a good year,” he says before correcting himself. “In fact, you better say Napa, not California.”

He’s right to point it out. In Europe, it’s very easy to mistake Napa for California. But in reality, the region only produces 4% of the state’s grape harvest. (California, in turn, produces about 90% of U.S. wine.) For such a small region, this 48-kilometer valley makes a lot of noise. And well it ...

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