Famous Winemakers' Affordable Bottles 

Hard To Find - Worth The Search

Philippe Melka 2010 Seavey Merlot ($45)

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Food & Wine
Make Your Own Wine Adventure 

Tantasy Wine Camp

Genius winemaker Philippe Melka, who consults for some of the California's most lauded labels, now hosts two-day belding classes at Montbleau, his home in St. Helena and the site of his highly anticipated winery (opening this year). Though his wines often sell out immediately, $10,000 buys guests an all-access weekend with Melka and his wife, Cherie, for insider tours of the local vineyards that provide their grapes and hand-on instruction in his winemaking philosophy and techniques.

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Food & Wine
What To Drink Now: Boisset, Melka and Graham 

Earlier this year I was in Napa and had a chance to sit down with winemaker Philippe Melka, a star in Napa Valley, consulting on over a dozen different projects while developing and maintaining his own brand, Melka Wines, with his wife, also a winemaker, Cherie. From Lail to Gemstone to Brand to Dana Estates to Vineyard 29 to Cliff Lede, his impressive list of clients producing great Napa Valley wine proves both how a skilled winemaker knows how to make great fruit shine, and how incredibly different each and every part of Napa Valley is from one end of the region to the next. Like the wines he consults for, his own wine, Melka Wines, is dedicated to and defined by its superb quality....

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Hot 20: The King of Cabs 

HOT. The word carries so many meanings: passionate, sizzling, trendy, intense, and yes, sexy. But for us, it signals our favorite month. Meet the 20 movers and shakers that have us fired up this year.

If you’re even remotely involved in the wine business or if you live in Napa Valley, chances are you’ve heard of Philippe Melka, the winemaker behind such powerhouse labels as Dana Estates, Vineyard 29, and Brand.

If you happen to just enjoy fabulous cabernet, you may have looked deeply, longingly into his eyes—they peer out from each $55–$155 bottle from his personal label, Melka Wines, launched in 1996. Despite the cult status he’s been honing since his arrival in the region in 1991, the Bordeaux native is a down-to-earth family man who names vintages after his kids and spends time off from the vineyards surfing in Santa Cruz. “It’s a feeling of freedom that you can’t get anywhere else,” he says wistfully.

This month, he and his wife, Cherie, Melka Wines’ CEO, launch their first white varietal: the 2010 Mekerra Sauvignon Blanc is a red-lover’s white that’s “not made to be quaffed by the pool or served ice cold; it should be decanted and enjoyed with food, such as lobster or crab,” says Melka. Come 2015, they’ll release the first wine from their newly acquired St. Helena property, Montbleau Estate. Long live the king.

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7x7 SF
Melka picked as one of the 17 coolest wine labels of the year by Forbes’ 

Melka Metisse Knights Valley Red
What can we say, it's bold and unnerving

Do we judge a bottle by its cover? Yes, often. Truthfully, wine labels often reveal something about the winemaker, winery owner or the wine itself. Some are haughty and grand, covered in script and gold lettering, while others are simple and straightforward. The wine label is technically our first impression of a wine, so it should be reflective of what’s in the bottle.  This slideshow is a mere snapshot of some of the coolest wine labels I’ve seen to date. I know there are more, if you’ve come across something spectacular, please share. I’m already working on next year’s list.

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