Please join us in welcoming mother and son, Jane and Roy Chapin, as Featured VIP/Auction Day Vintners at the 2016 Naples Winter Wine Festival!
Located in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, 4 Winds Winery was established in 2012 under the ownership of mother and son duo, Jane and Roy Chapin. Getting into wine was never exactly the plan, even years after purchasing the 109 acre property. But the Napa Valley wine community began to win over the Chapins’ hearts and before they knew it they’d started building a winery. Joining his mother in the business came easy to Roy, who had launched several successful businesses abroad. With his background and his mother’s entrepreneurial resume, the two began their wine making journey. Teaming up with winemaker, James Brown, the 4 Winds Winery has already exceeded expectations. We sat down with Roy Chapin to find out more about him and 4 Winds Winery.
What was your first job in the wine industry?
I dove right in as an owner/proprietor. My mom purchased the property in the late 90s. Originally from Florida, we had grapefruit groves so I’m a farmer by default. I started classes at UC Davis and Napa Valley College to learn more about the business. The vineyard is my favorite part—it’s where the magic happens. It takes time, good weather, and Mother Nature has a lot to do with it. Viticulture is interesting, you follow a recipe but so much is out of your control. You work with what you have and accept that you don’t have complete control. I was not very good at chemistry, so I work with what I have and make the best of it. My least favorite part is sorting the grapes—good thing we have optical sorters now that are really helpful.
Have you ever participated in the Naples Winter Wine Festival?
This is our first year. Growing up in Florida, I’m really excited to come home and experience this wonderful event and help our local children. Everyone at the Naples Children & Education Foundation and the Naples Winter Wine Festival is on the ball, very organized, and so easy to work with. It’s going to be a great event.
If you could share a bottle of wine with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would share a bottle with Ernest Hemingway because we both have a deep passion for hunting and fishing. I think it’d be a fascinating conversation about wine, hunting and fishing. I would ask him where his favorite place to fish was. My great aunt would shoot pigeons with Hemingway in Cuba, so I feel there would be a family connection.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is working with my mother and putting together this successful brand. Working with family can be difficult. Fortunately we’ve had a great, enriching experience. I lived abroad for so long, it’s nice to be back and working closely with her.
What is your preference, wine with food or wine on its own and why?
I prefer wine on its own, because I believe that’s the only way to truly focus on the distinct and subtle nuances of the a wine’s character and state of being. The wine is naked and can’t hide behind anything.
What’s your favorite thing to do while in Florida? Why?
I was born and raised in Florida and I love to fly fish for Tarpon in the Florida Keys.
What’s your go-to wine, and what dish do you pair with it?
My go-to wine is a 2012 4 Winds Cabernet Sauvignon and I would pair it with Truffle Grits and 100% Wagyu Rib Eye beef from Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu Japan.