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Sip and Support

Clif Family Winery fundraisers make a big difference for local charities.



Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford: Clif Family Winery’s owners believe in using their winery to help others.

Photo by Briana Marie

After hosting hundreds of national charity fundraising events with their iconic Clif Bar brand, owners Kit Crawford and Gary Erickson now spark that same spirit of philanthropy with Clif Family Winery, their St. Helena–based wine enterprise.

“If everyone would just do one thing to help others, it would make the world a better place,” says Crawford. By any measure, Clif Family Winery does much more than that.

Starting in 2016, the Clif Family Winery team launched an impressive lineup of Sip and Support fundraisers to benefit nonprofit groups such as the St. Helena Food Pantry, St. Helena Public School Foundation, Napa Valley Land Trust, Napa Bike Coalition, and Nimbus Arts, among others. This program and other community service work earned Clif Family Winery the 2017 Business of the Year award from the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce.

Tasting at Clif Family: Guests dine for good at the Clif Family tasting room in St. Helena.

“Sip and Support is really the centerpiece of Clif Family Winery fundraising activities up valley,” explains general manager Linzi Gay, a Napa Valley native who worked at Clif Bar in the East Bay before returning to the valley to manage winery activities. Teaming up with community partners, Clif Family Winery has donated more than $30,000 since 2016 from events hosted on the sunny back porch of the bicycle-themed Velo Vino tasting room located just south of St. Helena on Highway 29.

Sip and Support events feature Clif Family wines and bites from the winery’s food truck.

“We created a tool kit for community partners to make it easy for them to participate,” explains Gay. “We provide advertising posters and social media support to help our partners make it happen. Then, we donate 20 percent of the proceeds from the events.”

Fundraising events feature Clif Family’s wines from vineyards in Howell Mountain, Oak Knoll, Mendocino County, and beyond, paired with sublime bites from the winery’s bright green food truck, the Bruschetteria. Popular with Napa Valley locals, the mobile diner is manned by chef John McConnell (formerly with St. Helena’s Terra restaurant), delivering a garden-fresh take on Italian cuisine. The ingredients come direct from Clif Family’s certified organic farm in nearby Pope Valley. With food this good, it’s no surprise Sip and Support events are so popular.

In Napa, another Clif fundraising project has been making a difference for the past nine years. Lunafest, a national film organization that celebrates women filmmakers and is based out of Clif Bar’s Emeryville office, offers nonprofits the chance to organize screenings for a share of the proceeds. Look for Lunafest on April 20 at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center put on by the St. Helena Soroptimist Sunrise Club. cliffamily.com.

Upcoming Clif Family Events:

April 8—Pedal and Party for the Napa Valley Vine Trail

April 20—Lunafest by St. Helena Soroptimist Sunrise Club

May 2—Culinary Institute of America, Kids’ Culinary Camp

September 26—Give Big! St. Helena School Foundation

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