Melissa Moravac

Melissa Moravac

Casa Carneros (Winemaker & Proprietor)

Melissa Moravac studied Enology & Viticulture at the University of California, Davis from 1981 to 1984, completing her undergraduate degree in 1983 and doing one year of graduate work in 1984. In 1983, she received the Department of Viticulture & Enology’s Citation for Excellence for her work.

She began her professional career at Carneros Creek Winery during the harvest of 1983 and became its winemaker in 1988. Initially she went to Carneros Creek as a research enologist to supervise the Pinot Noir Clonal Research Project conducted in conjunction with the Department of Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis.

Melissa has been instrumental in an effort to study and quantify the potential devastation that will result if the glossy-winged sharpshooter makes its way into the Napa and Sonoma wine growing regions. The bug itself is relatively harmless, but it carries Pierce’s Disease, which can utterly decimate the wine industry. Unlike phylloxera, the bug that damaged many thousands of acres of vineyards throughout the world, Pierce’s Disease has no cure and pulling out and replanting grapes would not be an effective alternative.

Her focus while at Carneros Creek was predominantly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. However, over the years Melissa has had her hands on many different varietals from many different vineyards.

Today Melissa and her husband, Kurt Reaume, are the proprietors of Casa Carneros Wines in Napa, where Melissa also is the winemaker. They craft Pinot Noir and Merlot. They planted the estate vineyard in 1989 and focused on Pinot Noir. They planted various Pinot Noir clones in the vineyard to be able to work with, extract, and define the character unique to their particular vineyard, or terroir. For their Merlot, they purchase high-quality grapes from the Las Lomas Vineyard on the hills that line the northern boundary of Carneros.