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Napa Valley’s Clos Du Val hires operations director, winemaker

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Clos Du Val hired Jon-Mark Chappellet as director of operations and Ted Henry as winemaker as part of major shift toward estate wines.

These appointments build on other significant changes at Clos Du Val over the past few years, including a renovation of the winery, a stylistic shift of the wines, a reduction in grapevine yields, and a transition to almost exclusively making estate-grown wines from the winery’s three vineyards.

Under the leadership of President and CEO Steve Tamburelli, Clos Du Val has eliminated almost all wines not sourced entirely from its own vineyards. To achieve this, it has also significantly reduced production—with its overall cabernet sauvignon production cut almost in half. Chappellet and Henry join a team that includes Tamburelli, Director of National Sales Sean Gallagher and consulting winemaker Tony Biagi.

Chappellet’s quarter-century career has involved viticultural and winemaking innovation for ultraluxury-tier Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wine. The son of renowned vintners Donn and Molly Chappellet, he was raised on Napa Valley’s Pritchard Hill winery estate and spent two decades as director of operations of Chappellet Vineyard & Winery, leaving in 2013. While there, he worked with Tamburelli, general manager of the winery at the time to elevate the global stature of Chappellet, particularly as a New World benchmark for mountain-grown cabernet sauvignon wine.

Tamburelli left Chappellet in 2013 after 10 and a half years there and was hired at Clos Du Val in mid-2014.

Jon-Mark Chappellet is a past president and current board member of the Napa Farm Bureau and an advisory board member to the California Climate & Agricultural Network.

Henry is only the fourth winemaker in the four-decade history of Clos Du Val. He is tasked with the transition to an estate-focused portfolio, while continuing a vineyard-driven stylistic shift towards greater ripeness, more mid-palate depth and greater tannin integration in the wine.

Henry has more than 15 years of experience making Bordeaux-variety wines. For the past seven years, he was winemaker at Napa Valley’s Jarvis Estate, where he worked with noted consulting winemaker Dimitri Tchelistcheff and focused exclusively on small-production, estate-grown wines. Before that, Henry held positions as associate winemaker at Artesa Winery and Vineyards and associate winemaker at Trinchero Family Estates, where he helped to develop and oversee the winery’s Napa Valley-based luxury wine portfolio.

“It’s fitting that we are announcing Jon-Mark’s and Ted’s appointments together,” Tamburelli said. “The changes we have been undertaking at Clos Du Val are as comprehensive as they are collaborative. They touch on every aspect of our winery, and they reflect the collective efforts of everyone on our team. Because of the changes we have made over the past few years, we are already making the finest wines in our long history. Having individuals as talented as Jon-Mark and Ted overseeing every stage of our viticulture and winemaking will ensure that our wines continue becoming even more exceptional.”

Chappellet pointed to his long history in Napa Valley’s wine business at the family winery.

“Clos Du Val is cut from the same cloth,” he said. “It is an iconic winery with a rich history and some of the finest vineyard land in California. It is incredibly exciting to be a part of writing a new chapter in the story of such an important winery.”

Clos Du Val (closduval.com) started in 1972 with the acquisition of 150 acres of estate vineyards in the heart of the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. The winery rose to fame when its debut 1972 cabernet sauvignon was one of only six California cabernets selected for the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting. Today, Clos Du Val’s estate program now includes an additional 180 acres in Los Carneros and an 18-acre vineyard in Yountville. The portfolio now has 30 distinct vineyard blocks of cabernet sauvignon.

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