Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, February 27 2020

Philippe Melka is coming to B.C.

By: Anthony Gismondi
Acclaimed red wine blender to work with Phantom Creek Estates.

Acclaimed French winemaker and blender Philippe Melka has signed on to be the red wine consultant at Phantom Creek Estates, in Oliver, British Columbia.

Melka is expected to first arrive in the Okanagan later this spring. Look for our newest video on Phantom Creek Estate to be released in our newsletter on March 19th.

OLIVER, British Columbia (February 26, 2020) – Santiago Cilley, CEO of Phantom Creek Estates, announced today at the Vancouver International Wine Festival the winery’s collaboration with internationally renowned vintner Philippe Melka.

Melka will serve as the consulting winemaker for Phantom Creek’s red wine program working closely with winemaker Francis Hutt. “I 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,” said Cilley.

Philippe Melka has the rare combination of unparalleled talent and good fortune, his first job out of school, was at Bordeaux’s legendary Château Haut-Brion. From there, he took a position with the venerated Moueix Company and was sent to Dominus Estate in Napa’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 Château Pétrus.

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 Pétrus, 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 Napa’s most highly regarded properties. “I’m impressed with the biodiversity of the Southern Okanagan, and the distinctiveness of the estate vineyard’s terroir. I am energized to be working with Phantom Creek Estates and share in the team’s commitment to producing outstanding wines from this remarkable new winery.”

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.

We've created three videos filmed over the past three years which follow the development of Phantom Creek Estate. Links to parts one and two are below. Part three will be released on our website and via our newsletter on March 19, 2020. 

Phantom Creek Estates

Part 1:  (Aug 2017)

Part 2:  (Aug 2018)

Part 3: Coming March 19, 2020 - To be notified, sign up for the newsletter here: https://gismondionwine.com/subscribe/

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For over 30 years, he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. The twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to millions of readers. In addition, Anthony co-hosts the BC Food & Wine Radio Show, broadcast in 18 markets across B.C. and available as a podcast on Spotify, Apple and iHeart Radio and more. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.