Business Q & A: Picchetti Winery |

Business Q & A: Picchetti Winery

Christopher Kelly
Lake Tahoe tasting room director
Picchetti Winery
Provided to the TribuneChristopher Kelly is the Lake Tahoe tasting room director for Picchetti Winery at 3135 Harrison Ave.

Picchetti Winery is one of the oldest wineries in California, dating back to 1896. Every winery may open a second tasting room and that is what we have done here in South Lake Tahoe. We offer wine tasting and sales of all of our handcrafted award winning wines. For $5, you can select and taste five wines from over a dozen on our list, which changes monthly. The tasting fee is also refunded with a wine purchase. Our beautiful Alpine garden and club room areas are available for weddings, private parties and special events as well.

The Picchetti Winery was one of the first bonded wineries in the country, and can trace its viticulture roots back to the 1800s. The vineyards and main winery are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The owner, Leslie Pantling, and her family had been enjoying Lake Tahoe recreationally for years, so when the main winery needed to look for a second outlet, Lake Tahoe was a wonderful alternative and has since proven to be a successful decision.

I was first introduced to winemaking while visiting the Hunter Valley in Australia years ago. My first job was picking, sorting and crushing Shiraz grapes, so my passion really started at ground level. All of us here at Picchetti work with our winemaker during the harvest, so our staff is intimate with almost every aspect of the business.

When you visit us at Picchetti, you have the opportunity to taste wine from the people that grow and produce it. I think it is rewarding to taste our wines, and also have the opportunity to ask questions about the winemaking process. My goal is to have guests leave with just a little bit more knowledge than they came in with. That, and some great wine trivia.

Here in Lake Tahoe we meet such a diverse group of people. I really enjoy sharing our wines with seasoned California natives who know exactly what they are after. And, it is really fun to introduce some of the best wine in the state to those who are new to the whole experience. The winery has a large wine club of more than 2,500 members, many who vacation here at Tahoe as well and enjoy being able to come to ‘their’ winery and taste new releases and pick up their club wines when they are in town. Many Tahoe visitors from out of the state do not have time to travel to other wine making regions in the state, so Picchetti also offers a great opportunity for them to enjoy a classic California wine tasting experience right here in South Lake Tahoe.

For the first time in more than a hundred years, we will be introducing our own sparkling wine. Also, we are still actively working to get to know the local community here in Tahoe. We are offering creative and low-cost opportunities for local businesses to come in and use our facility for their own private events and meetings. We encourage local businesses to stop by and chat with us about how we might work together.

Garden Party! Join us over Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 29 from 1-4 p.m. for food parings and live music featuring Jacki Dauzat.

Business Q&As are an opportunity the Tribune offers to its advertisers. If you’re interested in advertising with the Tribune, please contact us at (530) 541-3880. If you have business news, please send a 150-word announcement to Roseann Keegan at Business announcements are available to anyone.

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