Clif Notes

The Art of Climbing...and Winemaking

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Sunday, November 7, 2010

This past week we released our first vintage of our Climber Limited Release Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend. This is a very special wine that we only produced about 100 cases of and that will be available to our wine club members and in our St. Helena tasting room.

The label is inspired by Gary's days of climbing in the Yosemite Valley. The strong, long-haired guy climbing that little mountain (okay, it's a pretty big mountain) is Ron Kauk. Ron is a climbing legend and a dear friend of Gary's. When Gary started climbing in 1976, he spent a lot of time in Yosemite teaching himself and hanging out with a group of climbers. Ron Kauk also spent a lot of time in Yosemite around that same time and had already become well-known for his climbing abilities. However, it wasn't until the 1990's that Gary and Ron became friends and started doing some climbs together.

Gary has always respected Ron not only as a climber but as someone who has a deep respect for nature and climbs as part of his regard for the natural world around him. He has become one of the most renowned climbers in the world and is a pioneer of high level free climbing in the Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows.

The Climber Limited Release shows Ron on the Heaven climb in Yosemite Valley. We love this photo because it shows an amazing sense of balance and focus. Both of which are also required in winemaking (although the stakes are not near as high!). As Gary says, "the elements of climbing are not that different than those of a good climb - balance, focus and a connecting of the senses."

You'll find all three in this special 2008 bordeaux blend sourced from Napa Valley Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Malbec. The wine possesses amazing dark fruit aromas and flavors with a hint of earthiness on the nose. This wine will age well for the next six years but is also ready to drink right now.

It's the perfect wine for any holiday meal - the label sparks conversation while the wine pairs well with almost any holiday dish.

Purchase the first vintage of our Climber Limited Release online or in our tasting room.

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