I spent much of my youth in Bordeaux, France, earning my geology degree from the University of Bordeaux. On a whim, I took a wine course in my final year of study - a decision that changed my life.
My journey started at Chateau Haut Brion (where my passion for cabernet-based blends and sauvignon blanc began) and I completed a masters program in Agronomy and Enology under the direction of Professor Sequin, the renowned terroir specialist. I was fascinated by the relationship between soil and wine quality,
a fascination which continues today.
Yearning to know more, I set out for Napa Valley (Dominus Estate), Western Australia (Chittering Estate), Chianti in Italy (Badia O Coltibuono) and Bordeaux (Chateau Petrus) where I divided my time between soil study and winemaking. However, the great diversity of terroirs I found in Napa Valley, and its potential for extraordinary wines, was a revelation to me.
So, with the knowledge I've gained around the world, I've devoted the past 15 years to winemaking here in Napa Valley – both as a consultant to the most highly regarded estate wineries, and as co-proprietor of Melka Wines with my wife, Cherie. We've also found time to raise a beautiful family together.
I feel fortunate to have been trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business: Jean Delmas and Jean Philippe Masclef from Haut-Brion, Christian Moueix and Jean Claude Berrouet from Petrus, Paul Draper from Ridge, Daniel Baron from Silver Oak and Michel Rolland from Chateau Pasteur.
My recent naming as one of the top 9 wine consultants in the world by Robert Parker has been truly humbling, and a terrific honor. But my pursuit of excellence in this field I'm so passionate about has only just begun.
Philippe Melka's current consulting clients are:
- Dana Estates
- Hundred Acre
- Lail Vineyards
- Seavey Vineyard
- Vineyard 29