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 wine when they met in Sonoma County nearly 10 years 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 partner Jennifer 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.
Together, Claire and Jennifer 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. The duo 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-yun), by the way, 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 coin. 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 sign confidential agreements with all the producers from whom they have purchased wines from - which is why vineyard sources and exact provenances can not be disclosed. We are happy to feature this newcomer label with our Garagiste Series members. We expect there is a very bright future ahead for Picayune Cellars.