Overview of Andis Wines
In Andis' private tasting room, you'll enjoy comfortable seating and a personalized wine experience with one of our educated staff members. Taste the variety in a flight of 6 wines (usually 2 white and 4 red) paired with light snacks and cheeses. Then embark on a winery tour and see for yourself the Andis difference. Andis Wines is a 17,000 square foot state of the art winemaking facility designed under two tenets: 1) Design a winery that can make great wine, and 2) Make it pretty. Andy, Janis and Mark worked hand-in-hand with Sage Architecture for well over a year to come to a design that would achieve that goal. Site selection was of critical importance, and the 25 acre vineyard site in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, with rolling hills and 360 degree views, allowed a design that blends in with its surroundings. The building itself, a prefabricated metal building with large canopy overhangs, is designed to “grow from the land” with the eastern end set lower in the landscape and the public western end rising out of the vineyard. Modern in its aesthetic, the design emphasizes the more industrial aspects of a winery production facility and yet will make visitors feel welcome with its connection to the land and warm use of materials inside. One of the first things visitors will notice upon arrival at the winery is our signature Barrel Stave Wall, a large accent screen wall on the north side of the building that is completely fabricated from recycled wine barrel staves and stained in a soft gray to create a textured woven effect. Additionally, there are a variety of places surrounding the building for visitors to gather and enjoy their experience at Andis, from the covered walkways to grassy picnic areas. From a production perspective, some of the outstanding features of the winery include: 1. A Fermentation Room that can be both heated and cooled. This allows us the best control over the fermentation environment in reaction to the seasons and needs of the process. We also dedicated area in this room to small lot “bin” fermentations. Often these lots are relegated to whatever floor space is available. By committing a dedicated area in the most highly climate-controlled space in the winery, we can maximize the quality of these always exciting, small production projects. 2. A Crush Pad that allows rapid processing of fruit from field to tank as well as immediate access to both storage and fermentation areas. The quicker grapes are processed after picking, the more character they retain. The design of the crush pad allows for easy delivery and immediate access to processing. This not only allows for the best treatment of the fruit but also requires fewer people to accomplish. This design feature was inspired by some of the great sailboat designs of the last 25 years that allow one person to control all the aspects of a boat from one location. 3. A Barrel Room that uses evaporative cooling (swamp coolers) instead of air conditioning. Not only does this allow for significant energy savings but it creates the optimal environment for making wines of character. By creating a high humidity environment, we are able to minimize evaporation from the barrels and reduce the classic barrel aging alcohol creep - a barrel in air conditioning can often rise as much as one half percent over the course of its “elevage”, disrupting the original balance of the wine. 4. A Tasting Room at the east end of the building that features large windows on three sides overlooking the surrounding vineyards. A twenty-six foot long tasting bar fabricated from sustainably harvested Lyptus wood and topped with a concrete countertop is the feature element. A Private Tasting Room is set off by its elegant barrel-vault ceiling clad in the same Lyptus wood for a rich, welcoming, and peaceful environment in which to sample Andis wines or hold business meetings. French doors lead visitors from both the Tasting Room and Private Tasting Room to the expansive lawn area to the south. The Private Tasting Room also has a window into the adjacent Barrel Room. Overall, the Hospitality area is just under 4,000 square feet including private offices, tasting areas, and large public restrooms. In addition to its elegance, the Andis building has exceeded California’s stringent Title 24 Energy Compliance requirements by over 15%. This is accomplished first by the building’s site on the land and its shape – a long narrow building on an east-west axis and deep overhangs on three sides to shield the building walls from the hot summer sun. The metal building wall panels are a prefabricated composite panel with R-33 insulative value. The underside of the roof is heavily insulated as well. Windows have been placed carefully to avoid solar heat gain and the storefront employed is thermally insulated Low E glass. The decorative screen wall helps to shade the north side of the building from the early morning and late afternoon sun in the summer months. Equipment, from the HVAC units to the toilet fixtures and light fixtures, have all been selected for their high energy ratings. Careful consideration has been made throughout the design process to successfully merge design and energy efficiency.
Located in the heart of Plymouth, California.
- Our vision is to provide comfort to our valued customers and produce quality wines.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
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- Dog Friendly:
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Average Bottle Price
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 set out traveling, dividing time between soil study and winemaking at world renowned wineries Badia O Coltibuono in Chianti and Chittering Estate in Australia. 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, Daniel Baron from Silver Oak 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 under his company Atelier Melka founded in 1995.
Maayan Koschitzky : Director of Winemaking
Maayan has amassed an impressive winemaking resume spanning from the vineyards of Israel to Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle here in the Napa Valley,Working alongside some of the top winemakers and among the most coveted terroirs in the world.
In 2014 Maayan Joined Atelier Melka. He brings a dynamic array of talents to the Melka team.With a background in Engineering and years of experience in both wineries and vineyards, Maayan plays a multifaceted role at Atelier Melka involved not only in winemaking and operations but design and implementation of winery development for clients.
Marie Laure Ammons : Assistant Winemaker
Marie-Laure was born and raised in rural Limousin region in France. Surrounded by an agricultural community, she was drawn to the connection between the seasons and harvest. Her interest brought her to study at universities in Burgundy and Bordeaux, where she obtained winemaking diplomas.
She moved to Napa Valley to build on her experience in France. She quickly became enveloped with the energy and quality wine making potential in the region.
In 2003, Marie-Laure joined the Melka team, and since has been utilizing hands-on experience with some of the most notable wineries in the Napa Valley.
Meghan Zobeck : Assistant Winemaker
From a career in the NFL negotiating player contracts with the Denver Broncos, to working Harvests at Leading Wineries in some of the top wine growing regions around the world such as Bordeaux, Piedmont, Chile and Australia, Meghan landed here in the Napa Valley at legendary establishments Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Screaming Eagle.
Meghan joined Atelier Melka In January 2015 and brings a dynamic set of skills to the Melka team that helps cultivate the world-class reputation of our clients. Meghan has found a love for the Napa Valley and is inspired to make wines that capture the essence of its greatest terroirs.
One great night in Amador was enough for Andy to move his Aloha shirts to the Sierra Foothills where he could enjoy the unique wines and flavors of Amador County. After fifty years in Hawaii where he co-founded and built the largest commercial real estate company in the state, and while still actively involved with the business today, Andy started planning the next phase of his life. Having lived part-time in Napa for ten years, Andy was familiar with the art of fine wine and, we must admit, the consumption of fine wine. He loves opening a bottle of Andis wine with friends and family to celebrate a special occasion or any Tuesday night. But the best part of creating Andis has been the chance to marvel at the bulldozers with his grandson, TK, and the barrels with his granddaughter, Zoe. In his rare spare time, Andy also serves on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes Sacramento Chapter.
Janis Akuna: Co-Founder
Janis Akuna, a Certified Financial Planner, is Vice President and Senior Investment Management Consultant with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. With her time split between Hawaii and California, she will at times be seen in the Andis tasting room where she loves meeting people, or be seen doing various chores around the winery. Janis oversees the operational and philanthropic activities, contributes to the marketing effort, and sits on the tasting/blending panel. With an undergraduate degree from UC Davis, she claims the winery business is in her blood, mostly through osmosis. Janis has an MBA from the University of Hawaii, and most recently, attended the UC Davis Executive Wine Program. Read the UC Davis Alumni Profile.
Jenae Plasse: COO, Marketing & Events Manager
A native daughter of Amador County, Jenae grew up on the family cattle ranch in Jackson where she gained a love for agriculture. After receiving her B.A. in Marketing from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2005, Jenae interned at Edna Valley Winery working in the cellar and learning wine production. Two years later she joined a marketing firm in Paso Robles before moving back to Amador in 2009 with the belief that Amador wine country was where she wanted to make her mark. Joining the Andis team in July 2012, Jenae is now responsible for the day to day operations of events, purchasing, community relations, marketing & advertising.
Practices & Techniques
At Andis, we strive to be environmentally responsible in as much of the winemaking and viticulture practices as possible.
Our estate grown Zinfandel vines are now 36 years old and completely dry farmed. The combination of maturity and no irrigation, aside from mother nature, forces the vines to struggle a bit and seek water deeper into the soils. By stretching their root systems through many layers of soil, a variety of minerals and nutrients are brought back up into the grapes, giving our wines a distinct sense of place and more interesting flavor profiles. The grapes produced by these vines are smaller with a higher skin to juice ratio. This allows us to make highly concentrated wines, dense with flavor and texture. When a vine has plenty of water readily available, it can become lazy, a quality that can show through in the bottle. Additionally, our vines are self-regulating in that they will not over crop. We get smaller yields but higher quality and more concentrated flavors.
Come fall, the grapes have been harvested, the vines are entering dormancy and the soils need to be replenished. Cover crops are a great way to have a large impact in the vineyard naturally. In between the rows of vines, we plant a variety of cover crops to help the soil with water retention and erosion. The added vegetation attracts healthy insects that will keep a biological balance among the vines. In the spring when the rain has come and gone and the vines are in bud break, we can till the cover crops into the soils adding much needed nutrients back into the earth.
As part of our Integrated Pest Management program we have built owl boxes to attract our feathered friends into the vineyards. By providing a safe place for the owls to reside in our vineyards, we can help to increase the declining barn owl population in our area.
Interesting fact: An owl family can consume upwards of 2,000 rodents per year, helping to lessen our use of pesticides and chemicals at Andis.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Terri Harvey and Pat Rohan do an outstanding job managing the vineyard and tending to the vines.
Since we cannot grow every varietal that we produce, we buy most of our fruit from local growers throughout Amador and El Dorado counties. After years of building relationships, we believe we've found some of the most committed and dynamic growers in the Sierra Foothills, each especially dedicated to their particular varieties.