We’re thrilled to announce that internationally acclaimed Napa-based winemaking consultant Philippe Melka has joined the team at Phantom Creek Estates. Melka will serve as the consulting winemaker for Phantom Creekâ€™s red wine program working closely with winemaker Francis Hutt.
â€œI look forward to working with Phillipe with the goal of crafting wines that are among the finest in the world, but that distinctly express the Okanagan Valley terroir,â€ said Santiago Cilley, CEO ofÂ Phantom Creek Estates. Â
Philippe Melka has the rare combination of unparalleled talent and good fortune, his first job out of school, was at Bordeauxâ€™s legendary ChÃ¢teau Haut-Brion. From there, he took a position with the venerated Moueix Company and was sent to Dominus Estate in Napaâ€™s Yountville district to study soils in 1991. Napa Valley soil proved a revelation for Melka. He set out travelling, dividing time between soil study and winemaking at esteemed estates like Badia a Coltibuono in Chianti and Chittering Estate in Australia. He returned to France in 1993 to further develop his expertise, this time at none other than ChÃ¢teau PÃ©trus.
Melka has thus been trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business, including Jean-Bernard Delmas and Jean-Philippe Masclef from Haut-Brion, Christian Moueix and Jean-Claude Berrouet from PÃ©trus, Paul Draper from Ridge, Daniel Baron from Silver Oak, and globetrotting wine consultant Michel Rolland, with whom Melka continues to work on consulting projects. In 1994, Melka returned to Napa full time, and for the past 20 years, he has served as winemaking consultant for some of Napaâ€™s most highly regarded properties.
â€œIâ€™m impressed with the biodiversity of the Southern Okanagan, and the distinctiveness of the estate vineyardâ€™s terroir. I am energized to be working with Phantom Creek Estates and share in the teamâ€™s commitment to producing outstanding wines from this remarkable new winery.â€
As consulting winemaker for the red wine program, Melka joins an elite team of wine legends at Phantom Creek Estates, including Alsace superstar Olivier Humbrecht MW, consulting winemaker for the white wine program and wine industry veteran Santiago Cilley as CEO.