The Chappellet Vineyard, Dragon Art & Their Malbec Release


I was first introduced to Chappellett Vineyard and wines when I met Carissa Chappellet, daughter of the Donn and Molly Chappellet, her parents who founded it in 1967… has remained a family owned vineyard ever since and continues to have that family owned feel to it in every way despite the fact that they obviously have non-family employees.

The Chappellets’ romance with Pritchard Hill started when Donn and Molly first glimpsed its spectacular vistas, which are perched 1,200 feet above the floor of the Napa Valley. It is no doubt nothing short of serene, peaceful and magical with breathtaking views and skies.

Spurred by the notion that Bacchus loves the hills and that mountain fruit would make superior wine, Chappellet followed the advice of legendary winemaker André Tchelistcheff and settled on the rocky eastern slopes of the Napa Valley. The Chappellets were the first to plant vineyards exclusively on high elevation hillsides and the second winery to be established in the Napa Valley after Prohibition.

The foundation of Chappellet winemaking program is focused on creating extraordinary age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that expresses the unique characteristics of the fruit from Pritchard Hill. The rugged terroir of Chappellet’s vineyards produces wines with great intensity and depth, qualities that define the world’s finest wines.

Since I’m still on their mailing list, I trekked up recently for their Dragon release party, which is of their 2008 Malbec — pretty tasty. Their Cab was out of this world; it didn’t hurt that an incredibly cute French guy was serving it, nor did it hurt that they had spicy dark chocolate chunks with salt, six varieties of sheep, goat and cow’s cheeses to pair it with, almonds, cranberries, dried figs and apricots and bread.

They held their release party amidst the barrels and Carissa who is also an artist, hung her paintings (dragons) for us to view while we sampled and toured about. She is currently working on several writing projects, including a vegetarian food and wine cookbook, a book recounting her 15,000 mile bicycle trip around the world, and a children’s fantasy epic entitled The Dragon of Pritchard Hill, which takes its inspiration from Carissa’s childhood on the mountain. (this was on sale and presented at the release party).

In addition to an incredible tasting of their wines, the whole family was so welcoming, the event was quite the treat. (six kids btw). I also met Lygia Chappellet who is apparently also an artist: you can check out her work here.

Below is a shot of Carissa at the Dragon release party, surrounded by her paintings featuring her mythical tortoise dragon, a massive bottle of their newly released 2008 Malbec, and the barrels which couldn’t be more appropriate considering her equal passion for Chappellet wines.


Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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