Kelly Eckel is a bit of a maverick in the wine world. After graduating with a publishing degree from Marist College, he veered towards the hospitality industry, fueled by his deepening interest in wine. In New York City, Kelly worked as a distributor at a wine store and shortly after had a transformative harvest experience in Washington, which further intensified his curiosity.
A move across the country to Lake Tahoe followed and for nearly eleven years, Kelly embraced an outdoor-centric lifestyle while working as a chef at various sushi-focused restaurants. His interest in wine persisted, and he began to curate wine selections for events and weddings outside of his day job.
In 2015, Kelly continued his fervor for the world of wines, securing his sommelier certification within a mere half a year. This accomplishment opened the doors for him to secure a coveted role at the three Michelin-starred SingleThread in Healdsburg, CA. After joining the team, he embarked on a three-and-a-half-year journey of discovery, finding his viewpoints resonating with those of the owners, Chef Kyle and Katina Connaughton. Like them, he also valued a broader vision - one that focused on enriching the community beyond the confines of their own restaurant.
Presently, as the Wine Director at The Harbor House Inn, Kelly moves with the ethos "we move for you, you don't move for us," which encapsulates his service philosophy. His role involves focusing on growing the wine program while also guiding the team into service each evening. His dedication to creating a warm and inviting environment and education for both staff and guests is a testament to his commitment to quality and personal growth.
Our wine selection and cellar is in constant evolution, and currently features 850 selections, with a particular focus on French and California wines.
The wine program spotlights small producers, most of whom farm organically and/or have very high quality practices in the vineyard and the cellar. We've chosen to highlight wines that present the perception of minerality, salinity and elegance, or wines that pair with these flavors. Beyond wine, our beverage program also features sake, cider, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.