Molly Chappellet taught her six young children exactly how she wanted them to respond to her requests: “The answer’s yes, what’s the question?” But now that they are grown—and running the family business—the tables have turned. “I have to retrain myself,” she told Fortune in an interview. “I had never envisioned taking orders from my children!” But such is the fate of Chappellet, co-founder of the renowned Chappellet Winery in Napa (St. Helena, CA?). She and her husband, Donn, have been living on the vineyard, raising a family and making acclaimed wines for 48 years. And while Chappellet jokes about the challenges of a family business, she is clearly pleased to have built a company—and lifestyle—that keeps most of her children nearby and involved. “They all worked in the vineyard when they were young,” she says. “This is part of their life, and they’ve never been able to shake it.” Go to Fortune to read about how Molly and her husband combined his love of wines and her artistic vision. Here, find out more about their organic practices and Molly’s favorite Chappellet wine.
Your winery was certified organic in 2012. Where did your commitment to sustainability come from?
I think it probably came from way back in Donn’s childhood. His family had a tiny ranch in the Brights Valley near Los Angeles. They did everything naturally. They didn’t call it organic then. They didn’t use sprays or any of that. When we moved here, we certainly didn’t want to use any toxic sprays with our family. Luckily, our first winemaker was also our vineyard manager, and he agreed completely. So we’ve done that for years—that was long before everyone used the word organic or knew anything about it. We don’t get all of our electricity [through solar], but we get a majority of it. We keep adding more solar panels all the time.