Although a native of Bordeaux, France, Philippe Melka did not grow up in a winemaking family or with the intention to study and produce wine. Instead, he was fascinated by the land around him.
Fortunately, he happened to be born and raised in an area that many other people have a fascination with; Bordeaux’s land is renowned for its grape growing pedigree. This fascination led him to earn an undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Bordeaux. In his final year there, Melka took a course in winemaking that inspired him to attain a Masters in Agronomy and Enology, thus launching his interest, and later his career, in winemaking
He landed his first job out of college at revered Château Haut-Brion followed by a stint with Château Pétrus. Melka was well trained in Bordeaux. He then took a position in Napa Valley, which was a turning point for him as he was intrigued by the diversity of soils and climatic conditions. He then studied soils and winemaking for some of the most renowned vineyards and wineries in Italy, Australia, and Napa. These many roles exposed him to a variety of environments and techniques, rounding out his experience and enriching his value as a winemaker and eventually, consultant.
Melka specializes in working with winery owners and winemakers to create a strategy for their individual needs. His reputation is not built on a specific style, rather his preference to represent what he calls the truth:
The truth of the estate, the truth of the wine’s concept. In order to tell the truth, you have to remove yourself as much as you can.”
We’re honored to have his insight when making farming decisions and refining vineyard techniques that are unique to the estate. Visit Crown Point Vineyards and you will see firsthand what makes the property so special and why Melka deems it, “...a special place that has the potential to create extraordinary wines.”