Described as a designer, landscape gardener, author, photographer, chef and entertainer, Molly Chappellet and her husband Donn, co-founded Chappellet Winery in 1967. Their shared conviction that there was a simpler, more down-to-earth way to rear their family, coupled with their desire to produce award winning wines, brought them to Pritchard Hill.
Born and raised in Beverly Hills, Molly studied art at UCLA and Scripps College. When she moved to Pritchard Hill, her training in art was challenged by bigger canvases and three dimensional opportunities. With acres of land to mold and clients to entertain, she has made her garden and events her artistic pallet. Her work in sculpting the land and painting with flowers, trees and shrubs has earned Molly's spectacular garden acclaim as one of the most unusual gardens in the area. As an entertainer, she has been hostess to such guests as Julia Child, Danny Kaye, Dinah Shore, Clint Eastwood, Martha Stewart, and Craig Claiborne.
Molly is the author of three books: A Vineyard Garden, the James Beard Award winning book that discusses her ideas from the earth for entertaining, gardening and life; The Romance of California Vineyards, authored with her daughter Carissa, features breathtaking photographs of the Napa Valley; and, Gardens of the Wine Country, co-authored with Richard Tracy takes you on an exclusive tour of the Napa Valley's most spectacular gardens.
When she is not tending to her garden, Molly speaks about design and gardening and hosts winemaker dinners around the country. She has appeared on The Regis and Kathy Lee Show, The Home Show and Martha Stewart Living. Her list of credits also includes writing articles for national magazines and daily newspapers.
With six children and nine grandchildren, Molly takes great joy in sharing her garden with her grandchildren. Together they celebrate ordinary occurrences: sunlight filtering through the trees, artichokes changing from vegetable to flower and giggling as they roll down a meadow. She and Donn have accomplished what they set out to do, not only to make award winning wines, but to live a simpler life. As she explains "A country environment has made me realize how essential it is in this age of computerized mechanization to reestablish our connection with the earth and bring back some part of that harmony and rhythm into our lives."