Day 2

LaSalle Grill Does Napa

Duckhorn – Migration Winery;
Ridge Vineyards – Lytton Springs

Casey Dvorak

April 4, 2022

Left San Francisco and arrived at Migration Winery in Carneros at 10:00 a.m. There we had an hour and a half tasting guided by Dominique. They also treated us to a nice charcuterie board with apricots, fig jam, dried berries, multiple cheeses such as brie and Manchego, Soppressata, sourdough crackers, garlic aioli spread, warm honey, and chocolate covered blueberries.

The wines we tasted were from the entire Duckhorn portfolio. The Syrahs from their Canvasback line from Washington State and their Migration line were both fantastic, but still, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from Migration that we carry at LaSalle was phenomenal.

Before our 2:30 tasting and tour and Ridge’s Lytton Springs Vineyard we stopped at the Sonoma County Town Square. This was maybe the best part of the day! We went to a local café and had some espresso and checked out some shops that face the square before grabbing some lunch at the bar top at a restaurant called “The Girl & the Fig.”

Brady had tartare and an IPA. I went for their seasonal salad and a Dunkel Weiss. The salad was killer! I’m not a big salad guy but the greens were fresh, crisp, and a little bitter; it also had chickpeas and watermelon radishes. After lunch, we headed up to Lytton Springs.

Although we were 20 minutes late at Ridge, they had a table ready for us on the awning-covered patio overlooking the vineyard below. They grow mostly Zinfandel here but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, and Merlot. We drank only reds, the Zinfandel is some of the best I’ve ever had.

Elliot Nett was our tasting and tour guide. He explained how the winemaker did “Blind Blends.” After each block of the vineyard is harvested and fermented separately from one another the winemakers blind taste each block and then create the final product by adding a certain percentage of each block into the final blend and then bottling! Very cool, it’s truly an expression of the winemaker’s preferences and percentages change from year to year making each vintage a truly unique wine.

We stayed at Ridge until 5 p.m. then drove to our Airbnb that was graciously provided by E & J Gallo in Calistoga. It took about half an hour. We stopped at Silver Oak Alexander Valley and Jordan just to look around but we got shooed off. Picked up some Bear Republic Racers IPA and checked into our home for the next three nights.

Now we’re about to walk to Calistoga proper and grab some dinner after a full day of tasting. Lots to talk about and review—so many powerful and enriching experiences today that will shape our approach to food and wine going forward.