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Claire Weinkauf

Picayune Cellars' owner Claire Weinkauf 

Picayune Cellars will be relocating its wine tasting and retail business from a small building behind Palisades Deli Café in Calistoga, to a 1,200-square-foot space at 1329 Lincoln Ave., formerly the Carmel Gallery.

The art gallery closed in early 2018 and the space has sat empty since.

The move from one commercial space to another was unanimously approved by the Calistoga Planning Commission Wednesday evening, with member Walter Abernathy abstaining.

Picayune owner Claire Weinkauf said in her permit application she wished to relocate to a more prominent space on Lincoln Avenue.

The building at 1329 is less than 10 years old and has been recently renovated into a two-story retail office space. The second floor will be occupied by the offices of Illumination Technologies.

The increased space will allow Picayune to expand its offering of merchandise and provide the opportunity for indoor and outdoor tasting room seating, like it currently offers.

Weinkauf is also exploring the possibility of incorporating outdoor seating in the courtyard at the rear of the new building, as well as on the privately-owned recessed paved area at the front of the building. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will require any outdoor seating to be “fenced” off, the commission report said.

The larger place will also allow room for office administrative space, something the current location is lacking.

Picayune is one of nine tasting rooms in downtown Calistoga. Planned business hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the report.

Picayune tasting room manager Carly Silva told the commission that they have had success in incorporating retail with wine tasting and customers are “taken aback” by the local, artisanal mix.

“We like to work with people, not corporations, and merchandise that tells Clair’s story. We’re women that like great wine and like to shop,” Silva said. “We’re a good team and we’ll make Calistoga proud.”

Both Weinkauf and Silva are Calistoga residents.

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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at csweeney@weeklycalistogan.com or 942-4035.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor