People

Behind Vice Versa is a team comprising of the vintner-proprietors, winemakers, winery operators, administrative staff, growers, vineyard workers and pickers. Over 50 people contribute every vintage directly to the wines we make. Here are a few members of the core team.


Patrice Breton

Vintner / Proprietor / CEO

While Patrice has a hand in everything from production, to sales, hospitality and administration, he is well surrounded by a seasoned team of passionate, talented and dedicated people.

He is married to Samantha and is the father of Zechiel (25) and Clara (22). His passions include all things wine, nature, fitness, rockin' out on his electric guitars, watching WW2 movies (over and over again), listening to music, learning about new technology, history and business.


Samantha Breton

Vintner / Proprietor / Hospitality Lead

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Samantha is a Pharm. D pharmacist by trade. She was first exposed to great wine during her first date with Patrice in 2011 when they shared a bottle of Château Lafleur 1982. She quickly fell in love with both Patrice and fine wine. She naturally connected quickly with the science and began her own passionate journey in the world of wine. 

Samantha and Patrice moved to Saint Helena in the Spring of 2013 where they married soon thereafter. Samantha leads all hospitality operations of Vice Versa.

Samantha loves to cook and she is quite the chef. Food and wine are an integral part of her life.

I only cook with fresh seasonal ingredients that I purchase the very same day. I'm well known for my grandmother's Boeuf Bourguignon.

 

Samantha's other passions include traveling (mostly to wine destinations), running and fashion. 


Philippe Melka

Winemaker

Like the celebrated wines on which he’s built his reputation, Philippe Melka’s career has been influenced by soil.

A native of Bordeaux, Melka grew up intrigued by the intricacies of the land around him. When it came time for college, he acted on his childhood interests, earning a degree in Geology at the University of Bordeaux. A class in winemaking in his final year was a turning point, propelling him to earn a Master’s degree in Agronomy and Enology.

Melka has the rare combination of talent and fortune to be a winemaker who started at the top: his first job out of school was at Château Haut Brion. From there, he took a position with the reputable Moueix Company and was sent to Dominus Estate in Yountville to study soils in 1991. Napa Valley soil proved to be a revelation for Melka. He returned to France in 1993 to deepen his expertise at Chateau Petrus. 

He has been fortunate to have been trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business such as Jean Delmas and Jean Philippe Masclef from Haut-Brion, Christian Moueix and Jean Claude Berrouet from Petrus, Paul Draper from Ridge, and the globetrotting wine consultant Michel Rolland with whom he continues to work with on consulting projects.

In 1994, he returned to Napa full time, and for the past 20 years, Melka has served as winemaking consultant for some of Napa’s most highly regarded properties.

Philippe started working with Vice Versa in Spring of 2014.

Philippe lives in Saint Helena with his wife Cherie, enjoys tennis, golfing, biking, eating and spending time with his family and friends. You may even catch him skateboarding on his crush pad while driving by his winery.


Shawn Johnson

Associate Winemaker

A native of Longmont, Colorado, Shawn was raised throughout Texas and Arroyo Grande, California. He came to Napa Valley in 2002 to work a harvest and explore the beauty of Northern California. He never left, and over the years Shawn learned the art and science of winemaking from a few of the best in the business. Now he is committed to crafting extraordinary wines with a focus on freshness and natural expression of terroir.

Shawn is most happy when he's sitting by a wood fire on the Coast listening to old country music and enjoying oysters and Champagne. 


Maayan Koschitzky

Associate Winemaker

Maayan was born and raised in Israel where he practiced judo from the age of 4 until he joined the army at the age of 18. He served in the IDF for almost 4 years as a paratrooper. After leaving the army, Maayan traveled for a few years around the world and began to feel the calling for wine. He worked for some of the leading wineries for a few years in Israel, including Margalit Winery.

After moving to Napa, Maayan was fortunate to work with exceptional vineyards and wineries where he helped to craft extraordinary wines, notably Dalla Valle and Screaming eagle.

In early 2014, he joined Atelier Melka as the Director of Winemaking and began working with Vice Versa in Spring of 2014.

I'm lucky and grateful to be working with some of the best vineyards in Napa Valley to craft world-class wines.

 

Maayan lives in Napa with his wife Dana and his 3 beautiful children. Aside from enjoying spending time with his family, Maayan loves to cook, going to the market, gardening, hiking, biking, traveling and exploring California.


Betsy Potter

Office Manager

Betsy manages all administrative operations from bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, compliance, inventory management, outsourcing, customer relations, etc. The list is long. Suffice to say that this ship wouldn't run without her. 

Betsy was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She loves the outdoors and is an avid scuba diver. In fact, her and her husband Chris were married under water off the Coast of Kona, Hawaii. She is also a major Baseball fan and a lover of fine wine. Most of all, she loves to spend time with her husband and her beautiful papillon dog Taz, who is also an important member of our office team. Come in and say hi to both of them anytime.


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