Finding Grace: How a meeting in Nepal led to wine making in Napa Valley

For Helen Keplinger to become one of the Napa Valley’s pre-eminent winemakers she first needed to embrace an entirely new career path. A chance encounter triggered that change and turned out to be fortuitous for everyone involved.

The year was 1997. Both Keplinger and Dick and Ann Grace, owners of Grace Family Vineyards in St. Helena, had made their way to the tiny Himalayan village of Khumjung, Nepal, not far from Mount Everest. One day found them all in a modest coffee shop that was touted as the highest-elevation bakery on the planet. They’d come from different worlds to the same place, each on a different journey.

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