Famed winemaker joins local vineyard as consultant

Staff report

Crown Point Vineyards, known for producing Bordeaux-style wines from its estate vineyards in the Happy Canyon AVA, has announced the addition of famed winemaker Philippe Melka as consulting winemaker.

Crown Point Vineyards

Melka, a native of Bordeaux, France, has worked at renowned wineries in Bordeaux and throughout Italy, Australia and Napa Valley. With a master’s degree in agronomy and enology, he’s trained with some of the most notable personalities in the wine business.

In recent years, he has served as winemaking consultant for some of Napa’s highly regarded properties, establishing a reputation that has led Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate to call him one of the top wine consultants in the world.

Melka’s partnership with Crown Point marks his first venture in Santa Barbara County. He joins winemaker Adam Henkel, who started with Crown Point in 2013 after eight vintages at Napa’s famed Harlan Estate.

“I have known Philippe since my time in the Napa Valley and have been enjoying wines that he has made for almost 20 years,” Henkel said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Philippe, and am looking forward to working with his entire team at Atelier Melka to help craft the best wines possible from this very special estate.”

Henkel and vineyard manager Juve Buenrostro will work closely with Melka and his team to further explore and expand upon the potential of the vineyard.

“Adam’s strong integrity and dedication to quality coupled with Philippe’s expertise will surely propel Crown Point to the next level,” owner Roger Bower said.

“The pursuit of excellence in this field is what I’m passionate about, and the potential to create extraordinary wines is what drew me to Crown Point specifically,” Melka said. “Crown Point is a special place that is blessed with distinct topography, climatic conditions, and soil types – the perfect combination for making extremely unique wine.”

Founded by Bower in 2012, Crown Point focuses exclusively on growing Bordeaux grape varieties. For more information, visit www.crownpointvineyards.com.