Claire Ducrocq Weinkauf never wanted to be a winegrower. Or a retailer. But on October 2, Picayune Cellars celebrated their 10th anniversary in Calistoga with a glamorous 100-person party featuring French berets, a lobster dinner, live music and, of course, Picayune wine.
During the celebration, Weinkauf expressed his gratitude to the people of Calistoga for their continued support, especially during the past 18 difficult months. Yet despite the challenges of the pandemic lockdown which included the closing, opening and then closing of the Picayune tasting room, as well as the need to temporarily move all online wine sales in 2020, the tasting room and the trade are open again and host Friday evenings the patio with wine and music as well as other local events.
âIt was tough,â Weinkauf says, âbut I’m an optimistic person with a fabulous staff, and our team found a way to make it work.â
Originally from Auvergne, France, Weinkauf studied in Chile and Argentina, then returned to France before moving to the United States. come and work with him in California. She later met and married Spottswoode winemaker Aron Weinkauf; Together, they have two children, Hugo, 7, and Celeste, 3.
When she arrived in the United States, Weinkauf was shocked at the price of wine, even what she calls âeveryday wineâ. She started consulting for different local wineries before embarking on bottling her own wine with close friend Jennifer Roberts. From a 1,000 gallon barrel of Sauvignon Blanc in 2011, the two have sold their wine wholesale and to restaurants.