Small-Batch Story: Clif Family Winery & Farm

Small-Batch Story: Clif Family Winery & Farm

At Narrative Food, each of our gifts is designed to tell a story. We have worked with hundreds of vendors over the years, listening to their stories and sharing them with you. In this new series, we are honored to spotlight a few of our favorite small-batch makers in their own words. 

Read our interview with Clif Family President Linzi Gay, and stay tuned for more.

Tell us a little bit about you and your role at Clif Family.

I’m Linzi Gay, President of Clif Family Winery & Farm. I’ve been with the company for 17 years, wearing a number of hats over the years. Growing up in the Napa Valley, I developed a love for food and wine that I have been able to bring to Clif Family. What truly excites me at Clif Family is creating unforgettable wine and food experiences that connect people to each other and to our planet.

(Everyone knows Clif Bar & Company, but...) Can you tell us more about the story behind Clif Family Winery and Farm?

When Gary and Kit started Clif Family Winery & Farm in 2004, they were driven to create a more meaningful connection between food, wine and the land. The Clif Family Farm began as a way for them to connect with family members, planting fruit trees and harvesting and milling olives from the original 100-year-old-olive trees on the property. We opened our St. Helena Tasting Room in 2011 to bring this love of food and wine to our local community and visitors to the Napa Valley. Three years later, we opened the Bruschetteria Food Truck, serving seasonal bruschetta, salads and plant-forward dishes highlighting ingredients from the farm. We were the first winery to have a Food Truck outside our front door, offering our guests a unique experience in the heart of the Napa Valley. Over the years, the farm has grown from a small garden to a fully working farm, growing a variety of fruits and vegetables that make their way to our Clif Family Bruschetteria Food Truck and into our preserved fruit and vegetable products.  In addition to our gardens, we grow 10 grape varietals on 90 acres of Estate Vineyards located in Napa Valley’s famed Howell Mountain and Oak Knoll District AVA’s. Our vineyards are CCOF certified organic and Napa Green certified, furthering our commitment to sustainable farming.

Tell us about Clif Family's savory nut mixes (and chocolate covered almonds — our favorite) and the sustainability practices you use.

Our flavorful savory nut mixes are created by the culinary team at Clif Family. Available in 6 flavors, they are great companions to a cheese or charcuterie board, added to a salad for a bit of crunch and flavor, or enjoyed as a tasty snack. We use the highest quality organic ingredients in each mix. We began making our nut mixes to serve as food pairings for our wines when we first opened our tasting room in 2011. Although our food and wine pairings at the Tasting Room have evolved beyond just the nut mixes, you’ll still find them in many of our experiences and as ingredients on the food truck menu.  

How did Clif Family decide to certify as a B Corp in 2023? How has it advanced your mission as an impact-driven company? And which impact area(s) do you focus on?

From the start, Clif Family Winery & Farm has embraced a 5 Aspirations Business Model, prioritizing the well-being of our business, brand, community, people, and the planet. Since day one, organic and regenerative farming practices have been our foundation, naturally leading us towards B Corp Certification. This certification validates our existing commitment to sustainability and provides a valuable framework for continuous improvement.

Tell us about a favorite food memory. (Think about your culinary traditions, a meal with people you care about, the first time you tasted a favorite food, or the recipes you like to make at home.) 

My mom taught me how to cook and my favorite memory is of her showing me how to make a family pastry recipe for Christmas morning. It’s a complex recipe and it took me a while to learn her special techniques. She has since passed away and it’s now my responsibility to carry this tradition forward with my children.

1 comment

  • Drew Cesario: June 10, 2024

    Jennifer, great highlight on the Clif’s family’s values in the vineyard.

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