Winemaker, Gandona Estate
Philippe spent much of his youth in Bordeaux, France, earning a geology degree from the University of Bordeaux. On a whim, he took a wine course in his final year of study - a decision that changed his life.
His journey started at Chateau Haut Brion (where the passion for Cabernet-based blends and Sauvignon Blanc began) where he completed a Masters program in Agronomy and Enology under the direction of Professor Sequin, the renowned terroir specialist. Philippe was fascinated by the relationship between soil and wine quality, a fascination which continues today.
Yearning to know more, he set out for Napa Valley (Dominus Estate), Western Australia (Chittering Estate), Chianti in Italy (Badia O Coltibuono) and Bordeaux (Chateau Petrus) where he divided his time between soil study and winemaking. He has devoted the past 15 years to winemaking in Napa and Sonoma Valleys - both as a consultant to the most highly regarded estate wineries, and as co-proprietor of Melka Wines with wife, Cherie.
Country born: France
Education: Geology Degree from the University of Bordeaux, France
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
I believe a wine should tell the story of the soil and represent what the land has to offer. Understanding the vineyard and its potential is a continually evolving process. With each year, I become more inspired by the ability of the land of Gandona.