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A brief history

Tusk Estates is an ultra-boutique winery in Napa Valley. Since its initial vintage in 2008, Tusk Estates has been singularly focused on making one exceptional red wine each year. Predominantly cabernet sauvignon based, Tusk strives to create a wine with seductive aromas, deep complexity and extended length harnessing the magical terrior of elevated Napa Valley hillside vineyards with a French approach to wine making. The result is an approachable yet complex wine that will age for decades but due to extended barrel aging and complementary terriors is also approachable in its youth. Master wine-maker, Philippe Melka (co-proprietor), has been leading the wine making effort from day 1. Production was originally limited to 125-150 cases for the first 5 years, and now ranges from 200-300 cases over the last several years making Tusk Estates one of the smallest boutique producers in Napa Valley.
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United States, California



Meet The Team

  • Philippe Melka

    On a whim, Philippe took a wine course in his final year of study at the University of Bordeaux while completing a geology degree – a moment that changed the trajectory of his life. He began his journey at Château Haut Brion where his passion for Cabernet-based blends and Sauvignon Blanc began and completed a Masters program in Agronomy and Enology. He was intrigued by the relationship between soil and wine quality, a fascination that continues today.

    Yearning to learn more, he set out for Napa Valley (Dominus Estate), Western Australia (Chittering Estate), Chianti in Italy (Badia a Coltibuono) and Bordeaux (Chateau Petrus) where he divided his time between soil study and winemaking. From the great diversity of terroirs he studied, Napa Valley revealed itself to have the most exciting potential for extraordinary wine.

    Trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business, Philippe has devoted the past 19 years to winemaking here in Napa Valley – getting his start as a consultant with Lail Vineyards at its inception. Being recently named one of the top nine wine consultants in the world by Robert Parker underscores his truly remarkable gift in a career that has only just begun.

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Tusk Estates Wines