ST. HELENA, Calif. – May 30, 2019 – The Chappellet family is proud to announce that it has named industry veteran David Francke as the new managing director of Chappellet. In this pivotal role, Francke will work alongside two generations of the Chappellet family to steward the future of their famed Pritchard Hill estate. Francke first joined the Chappellet team as a member of its Board of Directors in 2017, where he distinguished himself as a trusted advisor with a gift for strategic planning. Francke will oversee every facet of operations from sales and marketing to hospitality, DTC initiatives and strategic planning, while also working with the winery’s vineyard and winemaking teams to build on Chappellet’s 50+ year legacy of excellence.
After studying at the University of Kansas, and the University of Bordeaux, Francke began his career in wine sales in Kansas City. He then joined the team at Robert Mondavi, where he held numerous key positions, including general manager and vice president. After the sale of Robert Mondavi in 2004, Francke spent two years as SVP/general manager for The Estates Group, before being invited by Michael Mondavi to help establish Folio Fine Wine Partners. There, he achieved robust year-after-year growth as managing director, while establishing an acclaimed European wine portfolio. Prior to joining Chappellet, Francke served as the chief marketing and sales officer for Purple Wine + Spirits, and as a business advisor for Shirlaws, where he helped establish a wine division for the global consulting firm.
“Great wineries stay dynamic and relevant because they learn and evolve,” says Chairman Cyril Chappellet. “They infuse new energy and ideas, while respecting what has come before. David is a trusted friend and a visionary wine executive. He will help build on our family’s legacy, while honoring and preserving the values and ideals that have defined Chappellet for more than 50 years.”
Chappellet celebrated its golden 50th anniversary in 2017, and this year it debuted the new Chappellet Grower Collection, which features cool-climate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from several of the most acclaimed Sonoma County vineyards. “The Chappellet family’s integrity, love for the land, and unwavering commitment to quality have made Chappellet one of the most revered family-run wineries in the world,” says Francke. “What they have created is one of the great treasures of Napa Valley. I am honored to play a role in contributing to the Chappellet story to help ensure that our next fifty years is as dynamic and successful as the first half century.”
In 1967, on the advice of legendary winemaker André Tchelistcheff, the Chappellet family settled on the steep slopes of Pritchard Hill and founded Chappellet, becoming just the second post-Prohibition winery in Napa Valley. As pioneers of high-elevation vineyard planting, Chappellet has earned acclaim for crafting benchmark wines with an emphasis on mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignons, while establishing Pritchard Hill as one of the world’s great wine regions. In 2017, Chappellet celebrated its 50th anniversary as a family-owned-and-operated winery, and crafted its debut vintage of the Chappellet Grower Collection, which is dedicated to exploring cool-climate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from Sonoma County.