Clif Notes

April Fools Biking Challenge

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Let’s Fool Around!

Join us as we kick-off our 2013 April Fools Biking Challenge

Benefitting the St. Helena Family Center
Wednesday, March 27th @ Velo Vino
709 Main Street, St. Helena
From 5-7pm

A complimentary glass of wine will be provided by Clif Family Winery
15% of purchases during the event will be donated to the St. Helena Family Resouce Center
Sign up to cycle in April for a great cause at

Sweet Potato Baked Wedges

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, March 11, 2013

Sweet Potato Baked Wedges with Savory Coconut Dukkah

One of my favorite comfort foods is sweet potato fries. And for a healthier option, I often bake my own sweet potato wedges at home. To spice it up a little this weekend, I added our Savory Coconut Dukkah and used my Meyer lemons to make a crème fraiche dipping sauce. They were a delicious side dish! Here’s the recipe if you want to try it out yourself.

3 Medium Sweet Potatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp sea salt
Gary & Kit’s Napa Valley Savory Coconut Dukkah

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the sweet potatoes but don’t peel them. Cut each into 8 long wedges. Place them in a parchment lined roasting pan and brush lightly with the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and Savory Coconut Dukkah. Roast for about 25 minutes.

To make the dipping sauce, mix ¾ cup crème fraiche with juice from half a lemon. Add sea salt and fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine. Serve hot.

Spring Cycling in the Napa Valley

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, February 8, 2013

Even though we are still waking up to morning frost in the Napa Valley, spring is really just around the corner. It will soon be time to dust off your bike, tune it up and head for the hills. Nothing gets us more excited at Velo Vino than spring time in the Napa Valley. Not only do we get to release some great new vintages of our Clif Family Wines, but we also get to see our cyclist friends pop in for a visit.

This spring we will once again be coordinating weekend group rides twice monthly from Velo Vino. The rides always begin and end at Velo Vino and typically range from about 30-40 miles. The rides start on Saturdays in late April/early May depending on weather. More information will be posted on our web site soon.

If you are visiting from out of the area and want to enjoy Napa Valley by bike, consider one of our bike rental packages. We team up with the pros at Calistoga Bike Shop to offer two bike rental options from Velo Vino. All bicycles are delivered to Velo Vino the day of your ride by Calistoga Bike Shop and they will pick them up when you are done. These unique packages include one of our signature espresso drinks and a Clif Bar pre-ride and our Le Maillot Jaune VIP wine tasting experience post-ride. We offer a High Performance Road Bike Package for $110 and a Cruiser Bike Rental Package for $65.

Like this idea for touring around the Napa Valley? Just give Calistoga Bike Shop a call at 707.942.9687 and let them know you want the “Velo Vino Package”. They will take great care of you. Whether you are a new rider, avid cyclist, local or visiting from out of town, we hope to see you, your bike and your tasting palate at Velo Vino this spring!

Wild King Salmon in Filo Crust

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Wild King Salmon is here!

It is a favorite of mine and well worth the time to find just the right piece. My neighborhood fish monger just finished filleting this when I arrived!It will be carefully wrapped in a thin layers of filo dough and baked to fine flaky crust.

Enjoy this fine meal with a nice glass of the Clif Family Winery Gewurztraminer!


  • 6 sheets of filo dough
  • 1 center cut of Salmon, skinned
  • 3 oz. of Neufchatel cheese at room temperature
  • fresh or prepared basil pesto
  • sea salt
  • 3 TBSP of unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 400F.

Prepare a cookie sheet pan with a single layer of filo dough. Brush lightly with melted butter. Layer another sheet until 6 layers of dough are stacked.

Tip: Cover the filo dough with a kitchen towel while you are preparing so that the fine sheets do not dry out.

Next, remove the skin from the Salmon Filet. Lay the Salmon fillet down length of dough 1 inch from a long edge. Spread the softened cheese in a thin layer. After that, layer the pesto over the cheese.

Wrap the one inch border over the salmon and fold the other half over until the salmon is fully covered. Tuck the edges in or trim with scissors. Now brush the wrapped salmon one more time with melted butter and cut into 6 even portions.

Bake in the 400 F oven for about 20 minutes. The filo will cook to a light golden brown and the fish should be slightly opaque in the center. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

The filo crust provides a beautiful presentation and creates a very moist salmon in contrast to the fine buttery crust. Your guests and family will love this one!

Recipe was adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Rack of Lamb

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A post from our Master Chef,Anna Callaway

This dish is perfect for sharing. One rack will feed 2 people or 4 as a first course for an elegant meal.

Make this for your special person and surprise them on Valentine’s Day!

The perfect wine to pair with this lamb dish is Gary’s Improv – Napa Valley Zinfandel.



Start by making the tapenade. In a food processor, add the almonds/pistachios, olives, capers, garlic, herbs and pulse until you get a chunky but blended mixture. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it combines. Next, add the lemon zest and pulse 1 more time. Reserve.

Create chops of the rack by cutting to desired thickness. They should be about 1 inch thick. Season with Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper, let sit for 15 minutes prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Sear the lamb chops on a stainless skillet about 2 minutes on each side and then transfer to a sheet pan. Top each lamb chop with about 1.5 TBSP of the tapenade and place in the hot oven.

Cook in the oven 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Share with someone you love!

* recipe is adapted from Chef Anne Burrell –

Just Add Dukkah!

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, December 14, 2012

By Linzi Gay

Inspired by ancient Middle Eastern recipes, dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah) is a unique blend of ground nuts, sesame seeds and spices. I had the good fortune of learning about dukkah when I was traveling to Australia and New Zealand for work. Before dinner, many restaurants would serve a “house” dukkah with fresh bread and olive oil. With my first taste of dukkah, I was instantly hooked. I bought dozens of containers to bring home to family and friends and vowed to find dukkah when I got back to the States. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t that widely available and when I asked most people about it, I would receive a blank stare and a “huh?”.

When we opened Velo Vino, our Napa Valley tasting room, I was determined to develop a dukkah that would make a great pairing with our wines. Gary and Kit liked the idea and we worked with our Master Chef, Anna Callaway, to come up with several blends using both hazelnuts (the classic nut used in dukkah blends) and pistachios. After quite a bit of tasting (hard job!) and working to develop the perfect blends, we came up with three delicious flavors.

Dukkah is the perfect appetizer. All you need is a pack of dukkah, a loaf of fresh bread and high quality extra virgin olive oil. You dip the bread in the olive oil first, followed by the dukkah and pop it in your mouth. The vibrant flavors of the spices and the crunchy texture of the nuts make for a really unique and exciting flavor experience.

In addition to being an easy appetizer, you can add dukkah to almost anything. Dukkah is a really versatile ingredient for spicing up and flavoring many different dishes. You can add it to salads, sprinkle on soups, toss with pasta or season grilled meats and roasted veggies. The possibilities are really endless.

If you haven’t had a chance to try dukkah yet, you are missing out. Give it a try and I’m pretty sure you will be just as excited to spread the word!

Gary & Kit’s Napa Valley Dukkah is available in 3 flavors:Classic Hazelnut, Toasted Sesame & Pistachio and Savory Coconut. You can find it at our Velo Vino Napa Valley tasting room or online.

Want to learn more about dukkah? Follow me on Twitter @dukkahgal.

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