Parallel Wines Story
Parallel Napa Valley wines are the result of a collaboration of eight close friends and two of the top winemaking professionals in the industry today: Philippe Melka, who was recently named the 2005 Winemaker of the Year by Food & Wine magazine, and highly acclaimed Vineyard Manager Jim Barbour of Barbour Vineyards. Philippe and Jim are responsible for crafting some of the most sought-after wines in Napa Valley. The inagural 2003 Parallel Cabernet Sauvignon marked the first time these masters had collaborated to create such an affordable wine. While this team continues to produce increasingly attractive vintages of Parallel, we have been able to maintain a very attractive price for Parallel Napa Valley.
Parallel is also the story of parallel lives and friendships that have unfolded for more than 20 years. That circle of friendship now encompasses two special places: the mountains of Park City, Utah, where the four couples met more than 20 years ago, and the hillside vineyards of Napa Valley. All successful entrepreneurs in their own right, the Parallel partners love a challenge and relish the chance to participate hands-on. As such, they have been fully involved in every aspect of creating Parallel, from the planting of the first vine to sampling the first sip of each newly bottled vintage. It's the synergy that makes Parallel Wines so special.
Food & Wine magazine's 2005 Winemaker of the Year, Philippe Melka was born and trained in Bordeaux. In addition to working side-by-side with his friends at Parallel Wines, he crafts several more of Napa Valley's most sought-after wines. In addition to their cooperation on Parallel, Philippe is working with vineyard manager Jim Barbour on wines for Lail and Hundred Acre. Philippe is also currently making wine for Vineyard 29 and Gemstone. Despite his high-profile status, Philippe is humble about his many accomplishments. With a wonderful mix of humor and dedication, he applies his skills to every aspect of producing Parallel Wines.
Known for his terroir-focused winemaking - "We should emphasize much more the estate than the winemaker," he often says - Philippe's expertise and philosophy toward the land is the perfect fit for Parallel. Philippe believes the Parallel vineyard "is capable of producing some of the top wine in Napa Valley." With his help, it already has.
Philippe graduated with a degree in Geology from the University of Bordeaux in 1989. After taking a wine class in his final year, he discovered his true calling and earned additional degrees in Agronomy and Enology. As his knowledge grew to match his passion, he honed his craft within the legendary cellars of Petrus, Chateau Cheval Blanc and the first-growth Chateau Haut-Brion. He moved to the U.S. in 1991, then traveled to Italy, Australia and again to France to practice his skills on different soils and grape varietals. He settled in Napa Valley in 1994, quickly establishing himself as a caretaker of the land with a firm belief that "the wine must tell the story of the native soil."