On the early autumn morn of September 26th, Robert A. Pecota passed on in the peace of his Calistoga home. He had 80 bountiful years.
Born in San Francisco in February, 1939, to Russian immigrant parents, Robert was the youngest of 11 children. He acquired a penchant for work at a young age, bagging groceries after school and running morning newspaper routes, later working his way through the University of San Francisco for a degree in Economics. Marrying Susan Boe of Ross in 1964, he then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, to acquire his Masters in Business from the Haas School of Business, all the while working for the Hills family in San Francisco.
Post-grad, Bob enjoyed a position with Hills Brothers Coffee and MJB Coffee as their commodities broker, purchasing coffee from Central and South America. He segued into the wine business when he became grape and land buyer for Beringer Vineyards in 1969. Enamored with the wine industry, he and Susan moved their family from Greenbrae to Oakville in 1972 and purchased their Calistoga home and vineyard in 1974, where he developed and operated the Robert Pecota Winery for 30 years.
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Between harvest and crush, vineyard time, winery operations and travel, Bob could be found in the local restaurants, attending charitable and sports events, enjoying time with friends and family, on the tennis and handball court, and later on the golf course. He traveled the world over sharing his wine, landing them in parts of Europe, Canada and China. He loved the days the wine buyer from the White House would call requesting his wines for dignitary dinners, though he often missed the call while out in his vineyards on the tractor.
Bob loved his community fiercely and gave of his resources generously over the years. Serving as Board Member with the Napa Valley Vintners Association, in 2002 he Chaired Auction Napa Valley where over $6 million was raised, 95% of which went directly to Napa charitable organizations—a feat made possible by over 1,000 local volunteers every year. And Bob had a particular interest in strengthening Calistoga schools, establishing the Robert Pecota Scholarship Fund with Rotary of Calistoga. As Mayor and friend Chris Canning said, Bob made an indelible mark on our community.
Robert Pecota is survived by his loving daughters, Kara Dunn and Andrea Pecota White, son Steven Pecota, sons-in-laws Michael Dunn and Ross White, grandchildren Alexander Dunn, Tatyana Dunn and Ella White, and numerous loving friends whom he regarded like family.
Bob had a zeal for the greater good and random acts of kindness. In memory of this, contributions can be made to the Rotary of Calistoga with reference to the Robert Pecota Scholarship Fund and mailed to PO Box 754, Calistoga, CA. 94515.