Life in the Vines

If one of the pony-sized dogs barks, there may be a bobcat in the vineyard. Or a coyote along the fence- line. Perched atop an elevated ridge of rock outcrop and oak trees, 4 Winds is home to windy wildness. And to Alpine goats and the Great Pyrenees dogs that mind them, wild deer and soaring red-tailed hawks. In this shallow-topsoil terrain of valleys and ridges, folds and faults in the Stags Leap district of Napa, we’re planting vines of Cabernet Sauvignon where it famously thrives.

At elev. 400 feet with canyons below, the vineyard estate is also now home to grazing goats and egg- laying hens, an expanded vegetable garden, and a promising grove of citrus. Our family is growing too. Originally founded by mother and son Jane and Roy Chapin, there’s new energy at 4 Winds as Maura Clark joins Roy in the work of adding livestock and vineyard blocks. (Theirs is a lovely love story, by the way. Roy and Maura have rekindled a romance first sparked during 1990s college days at U.C. Santa Cruz when they each turned up solo a Dave Matthews show.)

These days, Roy and Maura reside at 4 Winds, walking daily in the vineyard with Stella, Stoker, Teal or Newton—the brawny livestock guardian dogs—to check on vines and irrigation, the hen house (upwards of 10 eggs a day to gather lately), and more than 21 mountain-savvy goats herded to targeted areas to clear understory brush. After losing the guesthouse to wildfire in 2017, Roy and Maura began establishing a 1,000-foot perimeter of firebreaks and other stepped-up wildfire strategies. And they’re adding to the citrus tree plantings in a nod to Jane’s history as a citrus grower in Florida.

Most of all, 4 Winds is dedicated to being good stewards of this remarkable land.