Name: Tara Pelter
Title: Manager and Wine Buyer at the Calistoga Wine Stop
Hometown: Calistoga, California
Education: B.A. in Social Work, Sacramento State University
Tara's father moved to Calistoga in the mid-80s to be surrounded by the wine and tourism industries. He did not have a job lined up, but he saw that the Calistoga Wine Stop was for sale and decided to take a leap of faith one day. Forty years later, and the family is still serving up Napa Valley wine to visitors from across the globe. The shop is one of the oldest continuously operated family-owned wine shops in Napa Valley.
"I've worked at the Calistoga Wine Stop my whole life," said Tara. "Growing up, I would come help my dad with putting price tags on wine bottles and getting to know the locals and visitors that came into our shop."
The original shop was located in an old railroad caboose car in the Calistoga Depot building, just west of the Calistoga Visitors Center and across from Cal Mart. In 2016, the family moved to the store's current location, just across the street from where they started. The wines offered for tastings and sale come from boutique, under-the-radar wineries that typically don't have their own tasting rooms.
Although Tara was raised in the tourism industry, she never planned to pursue a long-term career in travel and tourism. Instead, she wanted to follow her innate passion to help people, which drove her to Sacramento State to study social work.
"Although I don't work in the field now, it has really done me well. Social work is all about connecting with people, from all walks of life, and there is so much of that in the tourism industry as well."
Tara considers herself fortunate to work in an industry with such hard-working, dedicated individuals. "Not only the people that make the wine, food and welcome guests, but the farmers and other diligent workers across Napa Valley that dedicate their days creating a product, and experience, that we all get to enjoy and sell," adds Tara.
You can catch Tara working at the front desk at the Calistoga Wine Stop. Stop by, and she can tell you all about the best wines in Napa Valley.
Stay tuned to meet more of Napa Valley's diverse tourism business community!
Tara's insider tip: Calistoga is a great entryway to Napa Valley. We're laid-back and the town is the perfect place to experiment with wine. Come visit us!