October 18, 2022

Fall is in the Air with Clif Family Winery & Farm

*This is a sponsored post*

The Clif Family Winery tasting room is situated right on Main Street, the main drag in St. Helena in Napa Valley. And if the Clif name sounds familiar, it’s because they’re the same family who brought us Clif Bars back in the 90s! Avid cyclists, Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford started Clif Bar & Company in 1992 and moved to Napa Valley in 1997, with Clif Family Winery starting soon thereafter. 

Today, Clif Family farms 90 acres of CCOF and Napa Green Certified estate vineyards in the Howell Mountain and Oak Knoll District AVAs and sources fruit from Napa and Mendocino vineyards. They also grow fruits and vegetables in Howell Mountain where 70% of the food items they serve at the tasting room is sourced from. 

A Visit to Clif Family Winery

The Clif Family tasting room almost feels like you’re walking into someone’s living room. Cozy, comfortable, and welcoming. There’s ample seating both indoors and outdoors and Clif family food products are displayed throughout. Things like preserves, honeys, nuts, hot sauce, and chocolates. And if you’re lucky, their Bruschetteria Food Truck will be fired up and serving bruschette, porchetta, rotisserie chicken, farm fresh salads and seasonal sides.

When I visited Clif recently, I enjoyed the King of the Mountain tasting in their Rifugio Tasting Room, highlighting their organically farmed, small production Howell Mountain wines. What a treat it was! The bites were all spectacular on their own, and were brought to life with the Howell Mountain wines. In this tasting, you’ll enjoy 4 splurge worthy Clif Family Howell Mountain wines paired with four delicious culinary bites. Reservations are available daily. $85pp

Clif Family Winery Fall Releases

If your wine cupboards are bare, allow me to highlight a couple of the Clif Family fall release wines. If you’re ordering online, enjoy $10 flat rate shipping on orders of $50+ at this Clif Family link. Use code HARVEST2022 to secure the discount. 

Clif Family Oak Knoll District 2021 Sauvignon Blanc $38

In spring 2018, Clif purchased a 40-acre vineyard in Napa’ Oak Knoll District. This 2021 is their first harvest. In the glass, a summertime fruit bowl jumps out at you on the nose.  Things like citrus (lime zest), stone fruit (peach and apricot), and tropical fruit (pineapple), with a hint of wildflowers. On the palate the fruit is ripe, juicy, and squarely New World in profile, and that predictable Sauvy B acid backbone delivers. 

Clif Family Kit’s Killer Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 $75

Kit’s Killer Cab Cabernet Sauvignon is made from grapes grown on their organically farmed Cold Springs and Croquet Vineyards, located high atop Napa Valley’s famed Howell Mountain AVA. Situated above the fog line with decomposed volcanic ash soils, it is the perfect location for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine spends 20 months in 70% new French oak and serves a big, chewy tannic structure, just asking for red meat and other rich dishes. Deep, dark, brambly fruit notes abound, with a healthy dose of earthiness on the backend. 

As Sweet as Honey

I was challenged to pair the Clif Family fall releases with their Holiday Solar Grown Honey Trio set ($40). The set features flavored honeys: Ginger, Cacao, Cinnamon, Vanilla and Hot Honey. The honey products are made with honey gathered from hives placed on solar farms planted with pollinator-friendly habitat. Planting pollinator-friendly habitat under solar panels helps control storm water, improves the soil and provides diverse food sources and nesting habitat for surrounding wildlife. All good things! 

I ended up pairing the Oak Knoll Sauvignon Blanc with a goat cheese and prosciutto crostini, drizzled with both the hot honey and the ginger honey. Perfect with the Sauvy B. If you don’t know, Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese is one of the world’s most perfect pairings. Kit’s Killer Cabernet Sauvignon paired with sticky honey garlic beef over rice made with the Solar Grown honey; a recipe I pulled from Sweet & Savory Meals. The rich and unctuous Cab Sauv paired well with this rich Asian beef dish. 

Bottom line, if you find yourself in Napa, specifically in St. Helena, stop by Clif Family winery for a sip and a bite. Don’t forget to tell them Brianne sent you!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer based out of Los Angeles.

Since March 2020, Brianne has educated and entertained over 5,000 people through her “Virtual Vino” online wine tastings.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping others Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions.

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected, distinctive wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

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Sample Policy

As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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