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Catherine Bugue

Catherine Bugue

Clif Family in St. Helena is a visitor hub for everything “Napa Valley” that you’d want to share with visiting family: it’s part local bar (wines by the glass); favored restaurant (Bruschetteria truck with gourmet flatbreads is THE best); artisanal food shop (house made spices, chutneys, olive oil, etc., which you can sample while there); wine tasting room (large variety from crisp whites to rich reds); education center (they know stuff); coffee bar (all things espresso) and cyclist haven (if you happen to want to blend in good healthy exercise with all this).

Add a host like Tyler Cramer, who showered my sisters and I with fun wine facts and impeccable hospitality this past weekend, and you have a recipe for lifelong worship of a tasting room.

This Rosé was my sister Marian’s favorite — crisp, deliciously fruity (red cherries, cherry blossom, grapefruit citrus) but don’t count out the espresso drinks either; my sister Margaret raved over the Cappuccino.

Family visits and great tasting room experiences share something in common: they are both food for the soul.

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Catherine Bugue is the Star’s tasting panel writer. Her weekly pursuit of a good glass of wine provides a nice supply of choices for the Wine of the Week column. If you’d like to submit a Napa Valley wine for this column, please send it to the Napa Valley Wine Academy, 2501 Oak St., Napa, CA 94559.

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