Marketta Fourmeaux

Marketta Fourmeaux

Marketta Winery (Winemaker & Owner)

Marketta Fourmeaux is a native of Finland who moved to France as a youth. She lived in Paris, earned an MBA, and continued her involvement in wine and enological science studies. She worked as an official judge for the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO), which is the highest authority in France for wine, and in the early 1980s, she was sent to the U.S. to research California winemaking and viticulture. Six months and 2,000 wine tastings later, she sent a report back stating, “Looks good. We stay.”

By 1988, Marketta and her former husband had moved their family to a 273-acre estate on Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley to start a new life as winery owners of Chateau Potelle. It was here that Marketta made her mark as a viticulturist and winemaker, developing vineyards and growing grapes of distinction from various regions in California, and producing wines known for their balance, elegance, and complexity.

Her respect for the individuality of each vine and her commitment to “hands-on” winemaking ultimately earned her the recognition as a top-ranking producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, and elevated her beyond being labeled as one of the world’s first female wine producers to the ranks of the most respected winemakers in America. During this time, she also created the wine style and winemaking techniques for her Mount Veeder ‘VGS’ wines, which earned her the friendly nickname of “Madame VGS.”

Chateau Potelle was sold in 2007, and in 2008 she founded Marketta Winery and Vineyards, a city-cellar winery in downtown Napa, her third winery creation and her first as a sole proprietor; the first winery she developed was Les Jamelles in Languedoc. The ‘Hand Made’ wines series, partly produced on-site in small quantities of 100 to 400 cases each, are hand-crafted Vins du Terroir, wines that express the nature of the vineyard.

Marketta views each barrel is its own world. “It’s the simple work and details, the sum of every choice you make – big or small – that ultimately affects the wine.” In addition to new vineyard development and winemaking, Marketta oversees vineyard management of the grapes she procures from selected vineyards.

She is a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, and has served as a Board member of The Wine Institute and as the president of the Mount Veeder Appellation Council. She is involved in several non-profit organizations, including Building Better Ethics (founding member) and, through St. Jude Hospital and L’Chaim Napa Valley, aiding children with cancer .

In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Medaille de L’Ordre du Merite Agricole (past recipients have included Louis Pasteur) by the French President and government for outstanding achievement in her profession. Marketta has two grown daughters who have pursued their own interests, just as Marketta did when she was their age.