Gary’s Improv was one of the first wines that we made at Clif Family. Named for co-owner Gary Erickson, who plays improvisational trumpet as one of his many creative hobbies, it has always been one of our most popular wines.
The grapes are sourced from the famed Howell Mountain AVA, located on the north east side of the Napa Valley at 1400 ft elevation and higher. With its volcanic soil, high elevation, and position above the marine influence of the San Francisco Bay, the Howell Mountain AVA is ideal for growing grapes, particularly Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a distinct Zinfandel with concentrated fruit and rich color and flavor.
As Winemaker, I love working with this vineyard. It’s always a special moment to walk through the field of century-old vines and taste the plump, flavorful grapes. When the grapes arrive at the winery, you can often smell the pepper and spice throughout the cellar. From the cellar to the glass, the aromatics of this wine are one of my personal favorites.
We are thrilled to offer you this opportunity to taste the 2017 vintage of Gary’s Improv. With its deep shade of purple, this wine has riper fruit aromas with some savory character, such as freshly baked blackberry pie. The palate is soft and graceful, where fruit and tannin co-mingle, resulting in balanced and long-lasting flavors.
With a summer of simple pleasures ahead, this Zinfandel is the perfect wine for outdoor barbecues, picnics and summer adventures. Clif Family Executive Chef John McConnell has created many summer recipes to pair with this wine. You can find them on our blog at www.cliffamily.com.
Clif Family Winemaker
Follow us @cliffamily