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Philippe Melka Joins Phantom Creek Estates Winemaking Team: First and Only Canadian Winery Partnership for Acclaimed Napa Valley Based Winemaker

Posted on February 28, 2020

Oliver, B.C.—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.

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates is open for guided tastings and tours by appointment. To make a reservation, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by calling (250) 498-8367, emailing info@phantomcreekestates.com, or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a highly anticipated new winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites.  By farming its vineyards with care and precision, Phantom Creek produces wines that celebrate and speak to where they are grown.  The winery’s estate vineyards, including the acclaimed Phantom Creek Vineyard, are in transition to organic and biodynamic certification. 

Region: British Columbia
Job Function: Winemaking

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