Cherie Melka

Melka Winery
Owner/Winemaker

My interest in winemaking started with an epiphany moment with a glass of Chateau Lalande Pomerol.  Having earned my Microbiology degree at Northern Arizona University, I decided to pursue that interest in the vineyard country of northern California.  I began my wine industry background by running the laboratory at Ridge Vineyards for 6 years, working under the direction of legendary winemaker Paul Draper.  During this time, I met Philippe and we moved to France shortly thereafter.  I earned a certificate from the University of Bordeaux III in 1994, and expanded my knowledge of Bordeaux varietals.

Upon our return to California in 1995, I worked with Beaulieu Vineyards as Quality Control Manager, and then moved on to Silver Oak Cellars as Laboratory Manager. But I longed to be more directly involved in wine production and join Philippe in crafting single vineyard designate wines.  In 2003, I decided to dedicate my time exclusively to Melka Wines where I participate in harvest, blending, bottling, package design, marketing, website development, etc. . .  Our production is less than 3,000 cases and each wine is usually 200 cases or less.

Other hobbies or Interests:  Spending time with my two children and I’m lucky they still enjoy hanging out with me. I am runner at heart and enjoy doing local races, but I also enjoy tennis, biking, hiking and eating.