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Picayune Cellars

Napa Valley AVA


Unlocking secret wines from California

Picayune Cellars was founded in 2011 as a unique collaboration between Claire Ducrocq Weinkauf and Jennifer Pollock Roberts. The two women come from different backgrounds in the wine business, but they instantly bonded over their shared passion for food and wine when they met in Sonoma County just over a decade ago.

Claire, a French native, moved to California in 2006 when she was recruited by winemaker Paul Hobbs. Prior to that, she had been working in the wine industry in Chile and Argentina, and her winemaking skills were world-renowned. Claire is married to Aron Weinkauf, the vineyard manager and winemaker for Spottswoode Winery in Napa Valley. Her business partner, Jennifer Pollock Roberts, was a successful marketer for a handful of boutique wineries and co-owned a wine brokerage business for seven years in Sonoma County. She and her husband, Nathan Roberts, the co-owner of Arnot Roberts Winery and Cooper, met through their love of food and wine.

When Claire and Jennifer met, they instantly bonded over their love of amazing wines and delicious food and together founded Picayune Cellars in 2011. They were both in contact with incredible winemakers and had access to exceptional wines and highly desirable fruit, and decided to take advantage of their fortuitous positions. Claire and Jennifer began 'rescuing' small lots of fruit from prestigious producers in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, and would then conduct extensive blending trials to create elegant, balanced wines from both regions.

The name 'Picayune' (pronounced 'pi-ka-yu¨n') means 'a little bit' in French, and it is also the name of a Spanish coin that is worth only half the value of the Real. The idea is that Picayune wines are prestigious wines, but offered at only half the price of their value. The key image on each wine label references their mission of 'unlocking secret wines from California.' In fact, Claire and Jennifer have signed confidential agreements with all the producers from whom they have purchased fruit from - which is why vineyard sources and exact provenances can not be disclosed.

Now in its ninth year, Picayune wines are in high demand and we expect there is a very bright future ahead. In 2016, Jennifer decided to focus on her family business and Claire bought her out of Picayune. She continues their original mission and focuses on securing exceptional fruit for the growing label. We are happy to share this up-and-coming producer with our Platinum Plus! Wine Club members and hope you enjoy this Bordeaux-inspired, classic Napa Valley blend. Cheers!

Map of the area

Claire Ducrocq Weinkauf - Winemaker

Picture of Claire Ducrocq Weinkauf - Winemaker