Winemaker, Metzker Family Estates
Bay Area native, Melissa Castro has fond childhood memories of touring Napa and Sonoma wineries with her family and finding magic in the smell of wine in barrel. She attended the University of California at Davis, initially for pre-medicine, until her junior year spent abroad studying in Siena, Italy. While sharing long dinners with new friends, she observed how wine brought strangers together- connecting by telling stories and sharing life’s pleasures. She turned her life and studies to viticulture and enology quickly upon her return to Davis.
Melissa interned at Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley then was awarded the Antinori Scholarship from UC Davis to work at the Tignanello Estate in Chianti Classico- Antinori’s most prestigious winery. Shortly thereafter, she became the first Enologist at Antica Napa Valley – the Antinori Family’s estate in the Atlas Peak AVA of Napa. She was promoted to Associate Winemaker in 2014 and Winemaker in 2015 working closely with Antinori Chief Enologist Renzo Cotarella to produce the estate wines.
The opportunity to work with new premium vineyards as well as the excitement of building a brand from the ground up was an experience she couldn’t pass up and Melissa joined the Metzker Family Estates team in December of 2016. In addition to winemaking, she plays a fundamental role managing sales, marketing and brand development alongside Cameron Metzker. Napavalley.com named Melissa one of ‘Napa’s 7 Most Exciting Winemakers’ in 2016. She resides in the city of Napa with her husband Sergio and their dog Murphy.
Country born: United States
Education: Degree in Viticulture and Enology UC Davis
SSU Wine Business Institute Wine Business Management Certificate
Internship at Torbreck Vintners
Internship at Tenuta Tignanello, Antinori
Years in the wine industry: 6 years
Honors / Awards:
Named one of Napa's 7 most Exciting Winemakers in 2016 by napavalley.com