Chappellet winery is one of those wonderful hidden wineries and a secret place that remains largely an undiscovered treasure in the Napa Valley. The location is off the beaten path on the eastern mountains of the Napa Valley and open by appointment only, so visitors tend not to flock to the Chappellet winery.
We visited this winery for a special wine tasting event. Chappellet and its neighboring wineries hold a mini wine tasting event each year, the day before the Napa Valley Vintners Association Annual Barrel Auction. Besides Chappellet, the other wineries present were Cloud View Vineyards, David Arthur Vineyards, Krupp Brothers, Versant, and Kuleto Estate Vineyards.
The tasting was held in Chappellet’s attractive barrel room. The six wineries were stationed around the barrel room with owners and winemakers present to share information about their wineries and wines. For the most part, these are all boutique wineries specializing in Bordeaux style wines. The area here is known as Pritchard Hill. This hillside area is high off the valley floor presenting a climate conducive to growing the classic Bordeaux varietals.
With the festive atmosphere and the lovely appetizers prepared by Janelle Weaver, Kuleto Estates executive chef, it was hard not to find any of the wines anything but delicious and wonderful.
The Chappellet winery is one of Napa Valley’s oldest wineries, making wine since 1967.
Over these years, they have distinguished themselves among wine critics and collectors as one of the great producers of high-end wines in the Napa Valley. The estate vineyards include 110 acres. The winery practices sustainable farming throughout. At the tasting, members of the Chappellet family circulated and chatted with just about everyone in the room, making us feel all quite at home. The founding parents and five children work at the winery and you can certainly feel their passion and excitement about the winery and the wines that they produce.
Chappellet is located near Hennessey Lake on Highway 128 about three miles from the Silverado Trail. The views are fantastic. If you would like to visit Chappellet, call the winery or visit their Web site to reserve a scheduled tour spot. Sunday the winery is closed.
The Good: Family owned, exquisite wines, beautiful views, hidden winery, sustainable farming.
The Bad: Open by appointment only.