Roy Estate History
Shirley Roy and her husband, the late Charles Roy were both born and raised on the East Coast. Charles was originally from Massachusetts. He was a civil engineer and an architect. Shirley was born on Long Island and grew up in New Jersey. She is an accountant and a student of fine food and wine. Together, they owned and operated executive suite businesses on the East Coast. During the 1980's and 90's they made many business trips to San Francisco and Northern California. They fell in love with Napa Valley.
In 1999, with the purchase of pro golfer Johnny Miller's estate, they began new lives as vintners.
Roy Estate's seventeen acre vineyard was planted in 2001 and 2002 by Pina Vineyard Management under the direction of Helen Turley. The vineyard is divided into seventeen blocks, twelve blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, four blocks of Merlot and one block of Petit Verdot. The three varietals are planted with four rootstocks and nine clones.
Philippe Melka began working at Roy Estate in April 2005. He is one of the world’s most respected winemakers, who is best known for ‘finding the voice of the vineyard through its terroir,’ as Philippe puts it. Philippe was born and raised in the Bordeaux region and graduated from the University of Bordeaux with a degree in geology in 1989 and then earned a second degree in enology in 1991, specializing in agronomy and vineyard soils. He began his career working at wineries in France (Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Petrus), Italy (Badia a Coltibuono), Australia (Chittering Estate) and California (Dominus and Ridge) before settling in the Napa Valley in 1994.
In the wine industry many credit Philippe Melka with a return to a focus on terroir. Melka’s style is a blend of his French influence with techniques such as gentle harvesting, extended skin contact, use of new oak and his ‘American’ insights about artisanal farming as well as winemaking.