Like a fine vintage wine, Calistoga’s Wine Stop is growing better with age. Celebrating 35 years in business this month, the family-owned shop owes much of its success to close bonds between generations.
Owner Tom Pelter started the business two years before his daughter, Tara, was born. Tom passed away two years ago, and Tara now runs the shop, along with her mother, Tammy.
Up until last year, Wine Stop was located in the historic Calistoga Depot across Lincoln Avenue.
“It feels good knowing we’ve been here for 35 years. We survived the fires and the pandemic,” Tara said. “It makes me feel really proud of (the business). I think about all the people who have supported us all of these years, and it’s really special, that’s for sure.”
Like the business itself, Wine Stop’s loyal customers span generations. Customers who bought wine from Tom, now have sons and daughters who buy wine from Tara.
Winning over new customers visiting the area is also a pleasure.
“There is a different atmosphere in Calistoga,” Tara said. “People feel comfortable here. I love that I can take the time with people who are new to wine and answer their questions.”
And then there are the local customers who stop in after a trip to the Farmers’ Market and want a good wine to pair with dinner.
“They’ll stop in later and tell me ‘that wine was great with the scallops,’” she said.
It's a little too soon to tell if Tara's son, 4-year-old Nico, has an interest in the family business. He did, however, happily pose for a photo with a Double Magnum of Roederer Estate Champagne.