Two St. Helena-manufactured goodies have made Oprah Winfrey’s “favorite things” list for 2017, as did two Napa products from chef Thomas Keller.
For the second year in a row, Model Bakery’s English muffins appear on the list, and for the first time, preserves from Clif Family Winery is also a favorite.
“These seasonal preserves are the most outstanding trio since Destiny’s Child,” Winfrey wrote on her website. “I’ve been enjoying the pluot with lavender and peach all year, and I’m so excited to try the strawberry with lavender.”
Keller made the list with candles and K+M Extravirgin Chocolate, a collaboration with Tuscan olive oil producer Armando Manni.
Last year, Model Bakery included Clif’s peach preserves in its muffin submission to the list, and Oprah took a liking to it.
“It continued to be on her radar, and a few months ago we sent samples (to the list) and crossed our fingers,” said Linzi Gay, general manager at Clif.
With a long history in St. Helena, Model Bakery expanded in 2008 to a second location in downtown Napa in Oxbow Market, and in 2016 expanded with another production facility just down the street. In June the bakery opened Mini Model in Yountville.
Since the buttery muffins made the list in 2016, the bakery has gone from making 1,000 per day in 2013 to 5,000, owner Karen Mitchell said.
The preserves, however, will remain a limited commodity.
Most of the fruit for the preserves is grown on the Clif Family farm on Howell Mountain, near Angwin, and the rest is sourced solely in Napa, Gay said.
The preserves are made at Hurley Farms, also in Napa, and only about 3,000 units—300 of each flavor—are produced each year. They are sold directly at the tasting room and on the Clif website.
Now that they are on the list, production is not going to change. Except now they will also be sold on Amazon.com and Oprah’s website.
“We only have so much fruit we can grow and buy locally. This won’t change that,” Gay said. “We feel pretty strongly about that.”
Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.
CORRECTION: About 3,000 units of preserves are made each year, not 200 12-count cases.