Clif Notes

San Francisco Fancy Food Show 2011 Recap

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Friday, February 4, 2011

Kit's Gourmet Mountain Clusters and Mountain Mix Display

What a great start to a new year! From January 16th to the 18th we officially launched Gary & Kit’s Gourmet Mountain Clusters at this year’s NASFT Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Attendees and exhibitors alike got to taste Gary & Kit’s Gourmet Mountain Clusters, Mountain Mix, and The Climber Wines. All were well received and many were excited about the connection of Gary & Kit’s Gourmet to Clif Bar. Plans are already in the works for Fancy Food Show 2012. Who knows maybe another tasty treat will make its way from Gary & Kit’s Gourmet? The only way to find out is to attend. Will we be seeing you next year at the show?

Going Nuts…Literally

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We are going a little nuts around here…literally!

Gary and Kit’s Gourmet Mountain Clusters are making their debut in the Clif Family Winery Tasting Room. This is the newest release in the Gary and Kit’s Gourmet line. Unique, high quality, gourmet ingredients are expertly blended, culminating in four delectable flavors: Tamari Almond with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, Ginger Macadamia with tangy lemon, Maple Walnut with sea salt, and Sour Cherry Pistachio with blanched almonds. High impact nutrition full of goodness. A fabulous substitute for those sugary snacks we all crave as the holidays approach. These indulgent treats will be the highlight of your holiday!

The original product in Gary and Kit’s Gourmet line, Mountain Mix, is getting a lot of attention these days. Check out Ski Magazine, Fall 2010 Edition, Real Simple, December issue, and Food and Wine Magazine, December issue! Originally developed to pair with specific wine varietals, they are equally delicious on their own. In three unique flavors, Roasted Pistachio and Almond with herbs and sea salt, Smoked Paprika Almonds with a touch of sea salt, and Sundried Berry and Cherries with perfectly blanched almonds, Gary & Kit’s Gourmet Mountain Mix deserves a special place on your holiday table. They pair expertly with your Thanksgiving feast and can even be used to create your gourmet meal.

Give this one a try! Adapted from Bon Appétit, November 2006.

Country Bread Stuffing with Smoked Ham, Goat Cheese and G&K Gourmet Sundried Berry and Cherries with Blanched Almonds (vegetarians can omit the smoked ham and sub in vegetable stock for chicken stock)

1 (1-pound) loaf crusty country-style bread

1/4 cup olive oil

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery

1 1/4 cups chopped smoked ham (preferably from 2 meaty ham hocks)

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

2- 5oz packages Gary & Kit’s Gourmet Sundried Berry and Cherries- Coarsely chopped

1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth or turkey stock, heated

4 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut bottom crust and short ends off bread; discard. Cut remaining bread with crust into 1-inch cubes (10 cups loosely packed). Place in large bowl. Add oil, thyme, and garlic; toss. Spread out on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Return to same large bowl.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add next 4 ingredients. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Mix in parsley. . DO AHEAD Bread cubes and vegetable mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately. Store bread at room temperature. Chill vegetables.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 11×7x2-inch glass baking dish. Stir vegetables and G&K Gourmet Sundried Berry and Cherries with blanched almonds into bread cubes. Add hot broth, tossing to coat. Mix in cheese. Transfer to dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is brown, about 25 minutes longer, and serve.

ENJOY with a nice bottle of Clif Family Winery 2009 Rte. Blanc Sauvignon Blanc!

*** Roasted Pistachio and Almonds would be a great addition to an herby stuffing or vegetables!

Left My Heart in San Francisco

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Monday, November 8, 2010

Last Wednesday, I was at North Beach Restaurant where I parked cars on and off from 1976-1983. My buddies and I were there after a long day celebrating the Giant’s World Series win, attending the parade and just enjoying the vibe of the city, like I have never experienced before. Everyone was so cool and so happy. After another spectacular dinner at North Beach Restaurant, Mayor Gavin Newsom showed up. I’ve seen him there numerous times and told my friend Drake that he was going to show up....and he did. Earlier that night I played “I left my Heart in San Francisco” for the patrons while they dinned, on my trumpet. As I went to shake Mayor Newsom’s hand and congratulate him for the big win, Lorenzo, the owner of the restaurant says in his thick accent, “Gaaary, you must play San Francisco for him.” What choice did I have? He of course was a good sport and smiled for the photo. Next time he’ll probably go the other way when he sees me...


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.

First Harvest

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our first harvest from the Howell Mountain Vineyard wrapped up last Thursday and boy did Mother Nature prove once again that she is in charge! The unusal weather in Northern California this year made for a challenging vintage. But the fruit looks great and we are very exited about our inaugural vintage from our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.

A Bold New Look

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Saturday, October 2, 2010

Soon you will start seeing our new Climber labels in your local stores and restaurants. Don't worry, it's still the same great quality wine at a terrific value...we just spiffed up the labels a bit! We've always compared the delicate art of climbing and winemaking. Both require balance and the ability to truly connect to the senses. The bold new look of our Climber labels celebrates our passion for the outdoors and mountain climbing. You can find the wines in stores soon or purchase them on our web site at - use code 'climber' at checkout and receive 30% off the wine ($14.00 per bottle - your price $9.80 per bottle). What a deal!

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