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
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.
In wine, as in life, Patrice believes in balance, so he is sure to make time for his many other passions. The most important of those is his family – his wife, Samantha; son, Zechiel (25); and daughter, Clara (22). In addition to wine, he loves nature, fitness, rockin' out on his electric guitars, watching WW2 movies (over and over again), listening to music, and learning about new technology, history and business.
Proprietor / Hospitality Lead
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Samantha is a Pharm. D pharmacist by trade. Her original encounter with great wine was 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 with the science of the craft and began her own fervent journey in the world of wine.
An incredible home chef who is well known for her grandmother’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, food, wine and entertaining are an integral part of her daily life. These skills lend themselves naturally to her role as hospitality lead in which she warmly welcomes friends of Vice Versa, both old and new.
An avid traveler, when Samantha and Patrice aren’t exploring new destinations (most often other wine regions), she finds time for herself on a long run and in the world of fashion.
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.
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 in the final stage prior to becoming a Master of Wine (expected to be the first Mexican-American to achieve the title). He is 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.
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.