Lygia Chappellet moved to Pritchard Hill with her parents when she was 14 years old. Lygia remembers driving up the mountain for the first time with her family: “My father turned to us and said, ‘The only way this will work, is if we work it together.’ I took those words very literally.” Throughout her teen years, Lygia helped at the winery doing a variety of tasks including picking grapes, bottling wine and labeling. As she explored the rugged mountain property and the nooks and crannies of the vineyard, Lygia began to develop a deep appreciation for nature and agriculture – an appreciation that would help to shape her life, and her future work as an artist.
Studying at Lewis & Clark College, Lygia focused on biology and literature. She then continued in enology, viticulture, languages and liberal arts at the University of California, Davis. Lygia graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art from the California College of Arts and Crafts. As an artist, she decided to make her home in Big Sur, where she lives with her husband Carlos Volpini on a family ranch that abuts the Ventana Wilderness, and hosts a herd of milking goats, sheep, cows and horses.
In addition to rearing her three children and working the ranch, Lygia has also established herself as a respected artist; exploring her talent in and array of mediums including oil, silk, watercolor, pastel and sculpture. She strives to portray the power and grace of animals in a manner that elevates their standing in society and encourages their preservation. Lygia’s art resides in collections in both the United States and Europe. It is currently being show in galleries in St. Helena and Big Sur. Her images have also graced the labels of several Chappellet wines, and will be featured on several of the winery’s upcoming Artist Series.
As a board member, Lygia brings her passion for sustainable agriculture, as well as her design background to the winery. Her goal is the ecological balance between wild lands and farm land, both on Pritchard Hill and the entire Napa Valley.
Lygia believes there are benefits of multiple ages working together in a family business. “I see achieving the full potential of our family’s winery as the work of generations with generations.” In keeping with this sentiment, Lygia and Carlos’s children are beginning to participate in the winery. Their eldest daughter, Sequoia, has interned at the winery in a variety of capacities; she has worked in the sales and marketing department, as well as pruned in the vineyard. Their second daughter Lukie, and their son London, help to organize and lead family meetings. Sequoia, Lukie and London represent part of an inspiring and promising third generation of Chappellet family, poised to make their mark on the winery in years to come.
To view Lygia’s artwork, visit www.chappelletstudios.com.