Wednesdays with Winemakers – Philippe Melka

Why did you become a winemaker?

Making wine is the yin and yang of life.

 

If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be and why?

Architect.

 

What is your greatest strength as a winemaker?

Understanding terroir.

 

What is your biggest weakness as a winemaker?

Naive.

 

What’s the one mistake you made in the cellar you would never repeat?

Too much sulfur.

 

What is your proudest achievement?

My integrity.

 

What was your scariest vintage to date?

1991.

 

What is your favorite saying?

“Like nobody’s business.”

 

What is your most prized possession?

Possessions are not my thing, but my children are my most prized accomplishment.

 

What’s the oddest thing about you?

Being shy.

 

What song best sums you up?

Gainsbourg – Sous le soleil exactement or Je vais et je viens

 

What is your favorite memory?

When I met my wife at Ridge.

 

Which of the five senses is your strongest?

Palate.

What is your biggest motivation?

Freedom.

Which bottle of wine would choose to be stranded with on a deserted island?

1961 Laffite.

 

What is the difference between a good and great wine?

Class.

 

Name three individuals you would like to have dinner with.

Draper, Rolland and Mondavi.

 

Who is your winemaking hero?

Paul Draper.

 

What does the concept of “balance” mean to you?

Everything.

 

What is the one thing you want people to remember about your wine?

Balance, longevity.

 

Ilona Thompson

Ilona Thompson is Editor-in-Chief at PalateXposure, a destination site for oenophiles, gourmands and luxury travelers. She also recently launched #Wine, a site dedicated to wines and spirits reviews, and #Photography, a site devoted to high-quality wine, food, and travel related photography.

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