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.
Proprietor / Founder
In wine, as in life, Patrice believes in balance, so he is sure to make time for his many other passions.
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. The creation of Vice Versa is a longtime dream that he still feels fortunate to be living on a daily basis.
Like the celebrated wines on which he’s built his reputation, Philippe Melka’s career has been influenced by soil.
A native of Bordeaux, Philippe 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.
Philippe 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. He has been trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business including 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 on consulting projects.
His first job in Napa Valley was studying soils for Dominus Estate from 1991 to 1993. The terroir here was a revelation for him and although he went back to France afterward, taking a position with Chateau Petrus, he returned to the valley in 1994 and has called this his home ever since. For the past 20 years Philippe has served as the winemaking consultant for some of Napa’s most highly regarded properties. He began working with Vice Versa in 2014.
Philippe lives in Saint Helena with his wife, Cherie, and 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.
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 around the world for a few years and began to feel the calling for wine. He got his start working at some of the leading wineries in Israel, including Margalit Winery.
After moving to Napa, Maayan found himself working with some of the most exceptional vineyards and wineries such as Dalla Valle and Screaming Eagle where he helped to craft extraordinary wines. In early 2014, he joined Atelier Melka as the Director of Winemaking and began working with Vice Versa shortly thereafter.
Maayan lives in Napa with his wife, Dana, and their 3 beautiful children. Along with spending time with his family, Maayan loves to cook, going to the market, gardening, hiking, biking, traveling and exploring California.
Ashley Leon joined our production team at the beginning of the 2017 harvest. After graduating in Oenology from Cal Poly in 2010, Ashley accumulated a wealth of experience in both winemaking and viticulture working for several wineries in the Central Coast, Napa Valley, New Zealand, South Australia, Chile and the Mosel in Germany.
Like many winemakers, Ashley loves to cook and explore new ideas. She’s also quite active and enjoys traveling, hiking, swimming, yoga … and pumping iron!
Born and raised in Napa Valley, Elizabeth’s early exposure to Napa terroir began as a young girl, exploring the hillside vineyards that her Father farmed on Spring Mountain and Mt. Veeder. Elizabeth loved spending time in the vineyard and at an early age she would help with tasks such as pruning vines, testing grape sugar levels and picking fruit. After graduating Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, Elizabeth moved to Los Angeles and began a career in Public Relations working for the Walt Disney Studios for many years as Publicist as well as several book publishers. Elizabeth moved home to the Napa Valley in 2008 to pursue her dream of working in the wine industry.
Elizabeth’s passion is sharing the story of the wines of this special Valley we call home and introducing people to new wines and an experience they may have not have had yet.
Elizabeth lives in Napa with her son and loves to spend time hiking, skiing, playing golf, trap shooting and traveling to new places she hasn’t yet explored.
Betsy manages all administrative operations from bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, compliance, and inventory management to outsourcing, customer relations, and so on. 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, she and her husband, Chris, were married under water off the Coast of Kona, Hawaii. She is also a huge baseball fan with a penchant for 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.
Martin Reyes, MW
With a career spanning 15 years as a respected buyer, importer, and wine educator, Martin has held influential roles in virtually all aspects of the industry. A former director for several national wine club programs (The New York Times, Williams-Sonoma, Food & Wine Magazine to list a few) he was named one of the “Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers of America” by Wine Enthusiast in 2015.
Martin is one of only 370 Masters of Wine (MW) in the world, a course instructor for Diploma and Advanced professional certifications for the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and is a Certified Sommelier.
A first generation American and fluent in four languages, Martin lives with his wife and daughter in Vallejo, CA.