Vice Versa
Vice Versa is heaped with critical acclaim every vintage, and the key to this success is a line-up of exceptional vineyards selected by owner Patrice Breton, which represents both emerging elite sites as well as some of the most historical. With a team headed up by Philippe Melka, who’s worked with Napa’s greatest Estates and vineyards since the early 1980s, it’s no surprise the wines of Vice Versa continues to create serious hype.

  • Region: Napa Valley
  • Winery Location: St. Helena
  • Owner: Patrice Breton
  • First Vintage: 2003
  • Winemaker: Philippe Melka & Maayan Koschitzky

Story
Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Patrice Breton benefited from an upbringing saturated with art, science, history, and culture, all of which he loved and recognised in the early bottles he tasted. Patrice fell in love with fine wine at the age of 20, which inspired him to plunge into the study of wine. He fondly remembers his first great bottle, a Château Guiraud 1983.

Patrice attended business school in Montreal, and in the early 90’s was honing his coding and entrepreneurial skills as the World Wide Web began to take off. He went on to start one of the first internet companies in Canada and marvelled at the rate with which it grew. In the year 2000, Patrice was fortunate to have the opportunity to take his company public, allowing him to finally pursue his long awaited winemaking dreams.

Patrice founded Vice Versa in 2003 after a few years working alongside the influential winemaker, Paul Hobbs. The hands-on education and experience he got with him went beyond skills and methodology. Introductions were made, an organic network of friendships with the industry’s most respected players was formed, and knowledge is continuously traded, which enables Vice Versa to craft the kinds of wines that originally sparked his journey.

Vineyards
For his portfolio of remarkable Cabernets, Patrice has his sites on some of Napa’s most exciting and historic vineyards. From the old vines of Steltzner in Stags Leap District; the cool, elegance of Bettinelli Sleeping Lady in Yountville; the history and prestige of Oakville’s Beckstoffer To Kalon; the St. Helena first growths of Beckstoffer Dr. Crane and Las Piedras; Ecotone on the lower slopes of Howell Mountain, formerly David Abreu’s Throrevilos; the cool-climate coastal enclave of Platt Vineyard in western Sonoma is Patrice’s source for divine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Winemaking
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.

Latest arrivals from Vice Versa

2021 Vice Versa, Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 6x75cl

JD97
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage production: n/a Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is the even rockier neighbour of Dr. Crane, nestled at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains. Large rocks and... pebbles sit on the surface and continue below to create a tough environment for the vines, encouraging them to produce exceptional fruit. We’ve heard many a winemaker cite this as their favourite vineyard, and it’s not hard to see why with the big scores quickly racking up. Four Corners Wine “What – a – nose! Brilliant, just gorgeous, with lots of hot gravel, a lovely hint of reduction, a really intense fruit core dominated by pure blackcurrant. The palate is gorgeous, sublime, a brilliant Las Piedras. Bags of minerality and energy surround the most amazing dark fruit, with oh-so juicy tannins. It’s a big Cabernet, and an absolutely phenomenal one.” (Sep. 2023)
£1,495 / Case£249.17 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £1,817.18 / Case, £302.86 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2021 Vice Versa, Beckstoffer To Kalon, Oakville 6x75cl

JD97RP97+
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage production: n/a Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard may be the most famous and revered of Napa's great sites. Sitting on the alluvial fan washed down from the... Mayacamas Mountains centuries before, it’s produced a plethora of iconic wines at the hands of the exclusive group of winemakers granted access. Four Corners Wine “Dense, so rich and seriously dense with a big core and bags of concentration, frames by some sweet spices and a peppery/savoury edge. That palate is fantastic, so rich and an ultra-classic To Kalon that’s all about the tannins and epic structure. An utterly brilliant Cabernet with a very long life ahead of it.” (Sep. 2023)
£1,495 / Case£249.17 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £1,817.33 / Case, £302.89 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2021 Vice Versa, Spinning Plates Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 6x75cl

JD93RP93
Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc Vintage production: 1,500 cases The Cabernet Sauvignons of Vice Versa have become a phenomenon, selling out in just a few... days at release each year. Spinning Plates is a the gateway to these remarkable wines, and is a true modern Napa classic. Spinning Plates is a masterful blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from some exceptional sites: the Ecotone Vineyard (formerly Abreu's Thorevilos) on the slopes of Howell Mountain above St. Helena, and the Estate Vineyard in the far north of Calistoga. These are combined with Cabernet from a handful of 'top-secret' vineyards that remain a closely guarded secret! A dash of Cabernet Franc comes from the prized vines of the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard. Each release is wrapped in a stunning, unique label that was specially commissioned by owner Patrice Breton, adding to Vice Versa's striking blend of art and wine. For the 2021, the commission went to Montreal street artist “Tone”. Iinspired by Patrice’s passion for music, modern art, culture, and history, the 2021 label artwork is a retro-modern collage poster. Napa Cabs of this pedigree for under £150 are like gold dust. Patrice's characteristic, hyper-refined style has garnered multiple 100-point scores to date, and Spinning Plates is an essential for the vintage.
£790 / Case£131.67 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £967.22 / Case, £161.20 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2021 Vice Versa, Spinning Plates Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 1x75cl

JD93RP93
Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc Vintage production: 1,500 cases The Cabernet Sauvignons of Vice Versa have become a phenomenon, selling out in just a few... days at release each year. Spinning Plates is a the gateway to these remarkable wines, and is a true modern Napa classic. Spinning Plates is a masterful blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from some exceptional sites: the Ecotone Vineyard (formerly Abreu's Thorevilos) on the slopes of Howell Mountain above St. Helena, and the Estate Vineyard in the far north of Calistoga. These are combined with Cabernet from a handful of 'top-secret' vineyards that remain a closely guarded secret! A dash of Cabernet Franc comes from the prized vines of the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard. Each release is wrapped in a stunning, unique label that was specially commissioned by owner Patrice Breton, adding to Vice Versa's striking blend of art and wine. For the 2021, the commission went to Montreal street artist “Tone”. Iinspired by Patrice’s passion for music, modern art, culture, and history, the 2021 label artwork is a retro-modern collage poster. Napa Cabs of this pedigree for under £150 are like gold dust. Patrice's characteristic, hyper-refined style has garnered multiple 100-point scores to date, and Spinning Plates is an essential for the vintage.
£133 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £162.80 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days