Adventures in Enology

The owners of Clif Bar embrace adrenaline and the slow life.


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Launching Clif Bar & Company, which capitalizes on adventure sports and adrenaline (with protein-rich bars ike Clif Bar® and Luna®), was fulfilling, but frequent trips to Europe and a household move to Napa Valley introduced owners Kit Crawford and Gary Erickson to a slower pace. Naturally, this involved drinking wine and appreciating the Slow Food movement's philosophy by savoring meals and cooking with local products.

"We've always loved the whole culture around wine, and slowing down and enjoying life," says Crawford. The couple's move to Napa Valley eleven years ago integrated them into a community of winemakers through their child's school. Clif Bar Family Winery & Farm introduced four vintages during October of 2006: The Climber Red Wine 2004 North Coast (59% Zinfandel and 20% Syrah; also, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Syrah), Gary's Improv 2003 Napa Valley Meritage (87.5% Merlot and 12.5% Cabernet Sauvignon), Syrah 2004 Napa Valley (95% Syrah and 5% Merlot) and Kit's killer cab 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Malbec). More recently, they released The Climber White, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Muscat. 10,000 cases are available through cliffamilywinery.com and in select states. Sarah Gott, former winemaker at Quintessa and Joseph Phelps, currently at Joel Gott Wines, makes the wines at The Ranch Winery in St. Helena. "We just really like to slow down and wine is our way to do that," says Crawford.

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