Clare Luce is the granddaughter of Henry Luce, founder of Time, Inc., and the namesake of Clare Boothe Luce with whom she traveled extensively in the latter part of her life. Born and raised on the north shore of Long Island, Clare was educated in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She moved to San Francisco in 1981 and worked as a freelance photographer and then as a writer/producer for “The Epicurean Lifestyle,” a local television show that featured the finest restaurants and wineries in the Bay Area.
In 1986, Clare met Cliff Abbey. They traveled Europe, married in 1988 and started San Francisco 415 Co., designing and manufacturing sportswear under the labels Agnelli, Sutter’s and Ivy Brown. Along the way, their dream of owning a vineyard in the Napa Valley came to fruition in 1991 when they bought a property with an eight-acre hillside vineyard near St Helena.
After ten years of replanting and commuting on weekends, Clare and Cliff sold their company and moved to St Helena to take on the viticulture venture full time. Their goal was to make a world class Cabernet Sauvignon from their own fruit. Tying her past to the present, the emblem on the wine label pays homage to the Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed upon Clare Boothe Luce by President Reagan in 1983.
In 2005, Cliff was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s which precipitated the eventual sale of the wine label and vineyard in 2008. He passed away in 2012.
Clare’s philanthropic interests include the San Francisco Symphony, the Ronald McDonald House, the Center for the Pacific Rim at the University of San Francisco, the Fire Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the St Helena Hospital Foundation.