Clif Notes

Meet Bruce

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Monday, June 21, 2010

We've been busy putting the final touches on our 2008 and 2009 wines before bottling so we haven't had a chance to tell you about the newest addition to our winemaking team. This Spring, Bruce Regalia joined Sarah on our winemaking team. Bruce comes from an Italian family that appreciated both food and wine. He grew up drinking wine and as he says "always liked to ferment things." That's why we also find him brewing beer, making vinegar, you name it.

Bruce studied plant and soil science in college, focusing on viticulture and began his winemaking career in Mendocino County where he studied under Tom Lane at Navarro Vineyards. From there he moved on to Obester Winery and Duckhorn's Goldeneye where he became winemaker and GM. All that time in Anderson Valley made him somewhat of an expert on Pinot and it's still his favorite varietal. Maybe a Clif Family Winery Pinot Noir?

Bruce now consults for several Napa Valley wineries and we are all thrilled to be working with him. Welcome Bruce!

Recipe from the Farm: Fish Tacos

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Thursday, May 20, 2010

It is getting warmer outside and nothing is better than opening a bottle of chilled Rte. Blanc Sauvignon Blanc and enjoying a glass with some fish tacos with fresh tomato pineapple salsa.

Fish Taco Filling:

½ cup pineapple juice

½ cup lime juice

A tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of FRESH oregano chopped

4 garlic gloves chopped

A dash of pepper

½ pound your choice of fresh fish

2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro

¼ cup of chopped red onions

Pineapple Salsa:

A cup of diced pineapple

1 medium size red tomato

1 medium yellow tomato

1 medium green tomato

Lime juice from 2 limes

2 garlic cloves chopped

A tbsp of ginger

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Dash of fresh chopped mint

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of fresh ground pepper

Taco Filling:

Combine the juices, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano and mix together well. Pour this mixture over the fish and let marinate overnight or at least 10 hours. Remove the fish for marinade and cut into small cubes. Grill fish and then place in a corn tortilla. Pick from these toppings: cilantro, onion and pineapple salsa.


Put pineapple in a blender, combine all tomatoes in a bowl and put half into blender, then add lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and ginger. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Place blend into a bowl and combine the rest of the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint.

Let the Bidding Begin

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, May 17, 2010

Farm to Table Dinner at Clif Family Farm
Bidding on the Napa Valley Vintner's E-Auction lots began last week.  The format is a little different than previous years with each week leading up to Auction Napa Valley weekend focused on a different theme.  Last week was "Cellar Treasures in Bottles and Magnums".  This week is "Jeroboams, Rehoboams, Methuselahs, and Nebuhchadnezzars -- Oh My!" 

If you're looking for something beyond large formats, be sure to check out the next two weeks - May 23rd ushers in a group of "Unforgettable Days of Wine & Adventure" while May 30th wraps it up with "Nights to Remember: Wine, Food and Friends."  These lots feature special behind-the-scenes wine adventures where you will often mingle with winemakers, winery proprietors and star chefs as you enjoy the fabulous wines that Napa Valley wineries have to offer.

The Napa Valley Vintners celebrates 30 years of giving back to the local community this June with the 30th Auction Napa Valley.  Over the years, this event has raised $90 million dollars for the local community, supporting organizations that focus on healthcare, housing and youth services.

Clif Family Winery is supporting the event this year by pouring at Friday's Taste Napa Valley and by donating an E-Auction lot.  Our lot (Lot #460) is part of the "Nights to Remember: Wine, Food and Friends" group and goes live on Sunday, May 30th.  The winning bidder of this lot will invite five friends to join owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford for a special "farm to table" meal at Clif Family Farm.  The lot also includes 10 bottles of Clif Family Wine, ground transportation by Holme Grown Tours and some other goodies. 

If you are interested in bidding on our lot (or any of the other amazing lots available this year), visit the Napa Vintners web site for more information. 

Happy bidding!

Bzz Bzz

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There has been a lot of buzz going on around the farm and it might have something to do with the honey bees that made their home there this weekend. Two new hives were established on the farm last weekend near the fruit orchard. They are going to be happy bees. The rainy spring has brought about an abundance of clover in the fields by the orchard.

The wet weather we had this spring is good for bees everywhere. After three years of scarce natural forage sources for honeybees, beekeepers are looking forward to an abundant year with lots of spring flowers that will also help kick start the summer and fall flower seasons.

We are excited to have bees on the farm. Kit has wanted to do this for some time both to help with the pollination required for our fruit and vegetable production and to someday offer Clif Family Farm honey to the local community.

Here are some interesting facts about honey bees:

  • Honey bees are responsible for pollinating approx 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the U.S.
  • Honey bees fly at 15 miles per hour and stroke their wings 11,400 times per minute (that's where the bzz comes from)
  • A single honey bee will only produce approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • Honey bees are the only insect that produce food from humans.
  • Honey bees never sleep!

(Facts from

While these new bees are wonderful for the farm, the wild bees that already live on the farm are just as important for pollination. We have also planted a bee garden with an abundance of nectar and pollen-rich plants that is available to the bees year round. There is sure to be a lot more bzz bzz on the farm this summer!

Clif Family Farm Veggie Boxes

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, May 3, 2010

Do you live in the Napa Valley?  If so, you may want to check out our Clif Family Farm CSA boxes.  We are thrilled to announce our CSA Farm Box program.  There is a lot going on at our farm this year including honey bees, getting our first harvest off of our new olive orchard and the planting of an extensive vegetable garden.  Now we're ready to share some of the bounty from the farm with our local neighbors.

You may be wondering...what is a CSA box?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  In recent years , CSA boxes have  become a great way for consumers to buy local and seasonal foods directly from a farm. Local consumers purchase a weekly subscription from the farm, in turn receiving a weekly box of fresh produce. It’s a great way to connect directly with a farm and build a relationship with local farmers.

So what's our box all about?

The offerings in the Clif Family Farm CSA box will vary from week to week. A sample box may include a selection of Santa Rosa Plums, flavored king pluot, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, nectarines, and chard. Each week will bring a new assortment of fruits and vegetables, all grown right on Clif Family Farm.  And since we became CCOF certified last year, you can be assured that all of the fruits and veggies are grown organically.

The Details...

Our Clif Family Farm CSA box will cost $25 for each week. Your box can be picked up every Friday starting on June 25th at our winery offices located at 1312 Vidovich Avenue in downtown St. Helena.  Pickup times are from 8am to 5pm on Fridays.  The summer program will run through October 15th. 

If you are intersted in signing up or have questions, send us an email at or give us a call at 707.968.0625. 

There are only 20 spots available, so don't delay!

Recipe from the Farm

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We have an in-house culinary expert (Jamie) who keeps us well fed.  When we made our first batch of Gary & Kit's Gourmet Mountain Mix she created unique, seasonal recipes using each of the Mountain Mix flavors as an ingredient in the recipe.  This is one of our favorites.  There are plenty of perfectly ripe and tasty avocados available right now at your grocery store. 

Warm Scallop Salad with Avocado and Smoked Paprika Almonds


1 pound sea scallops

1 TBSP butter + 2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP flour

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp paprika

6-8 cups baby spinach or mixed greens

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Smoked Paprika Almonds

1 TBSP lemon juice

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper


Combine flour, cumin, cayenne, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Lightly coat top and bottom of each scallop.  Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Pan sear scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Add Smoked Paprika Almonds and a pinch of salt.  Coat almonds completely and pour onto a sheet of aluminum foil and let cool completely.  Chop finely.  Slowly wisk olive oil into lemon juice and almonds.  Salt and pepper to taste (white pepper works best!).  To serve, toss greens with desired amount of vinaigrette.  Top with warm scallops, avocado and Smoked Paprika Almonds.

Pair with a glass of 2006 The Climber Red - the bold spice of the Smoked Paprika Almonds stands up to the intense flavor of the Zinfandel in this blend while the meatiness of the nuts cultivates and enhances the long, smooth finish.

Recipe by Jamie Foley

Archive Posts

Favorite Sites

Follow Us on Twitter