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The Chappellet family and the forging of Napa’s Cabernet identity

Among Napa Valley's pioneers, the Chappellet family was instrumental in putting the region on the map thanks to its now-legendary Cabernet Sauvignons.

In the mid-1960s, American businessman Donn Chappellet began doing some soul searching and started to imagine life as a winemaker. He had co-founded Interstate United Corporation, a food services business that, at its apex, employed 8,000 workers and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Then, in 1966, at the age of 34, he sold his shares and moved his family from Los Angeles to a remote part of Napa Valley called Pritchard Hill, which is now home to a bevy of Napa giants, including Bryant Family, Colgin, David Arthur, Continuum, Realm, Ovid and, of course, Chappellet.

Today, Chappellet is regarded as one of Napa Valley’s greatest assets, known for its powerful, structured, mineral-driven and ageworthy Cabernet Sauvignons. Beginning in September 2023, Chappellet has offered stocks of its 2019 Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and 2019 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon wines on La Place de Bordeaux through Les Vins d’Ailleurs, a branch of courtier (broker) Bureau Barre & Touton.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores for 10 Chappellet wines

Cristaldi’s pick: a taste of the Chappellet range

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