Winemaking at Marston Family Vineyard

The original vineyards at Marston Family Vineyard dated back to the late 1800s, and were planted by horse and plough. Through the early years the vineyard would eventually lay claim to eleven different varietals, including Johannesburg Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was immediately evident to the early settlers that grapes and a variety of orchards (apricot, prune, and walnut) would thrive among the natural wilderness of the ranch.

The early 1990s began a new chapter for the family when we began replanting certain blocks of the vineyard, and in 1998 we released the first vintage under the current label. After twelve remarkable years under the guidance of Philippe Melka and his team, the 2010 vintage marked an exciting transition to esteemed winemaker, Marbue Marke. Continuing in the tradition of excellence, Marbue is the perfect complement to the past, present and future of Marston Family Vineyard.

Marbue Marke (Vintage 2010 – Current)

Marbue Marke is one of the leading winemaking minds of our generation, seamlessly blending his artistic expression with the science of fermentation.  Hailing originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone, Marbue is a graduate from the oenology program at UC Davis, and his approach effortlessly captures the essence of our terroir, and elevates our wines to their greatest expression.  Over the years we have redefined our approach to oak, ageing and style, enhancing our precision throughout the process. We are delighted to be working intimately with Marbue as a core member of our team, continuing the tradition of excellence at Marston Family Vineyard.


Philippe Melka (Vintage 1998 – 2009)             Philippe Melka image
When Philippe Melka obtained his geology degree, his research was an emphasis on soils and their relationship to viticulture. He went from Petrus in Bordeaux to Dominus in the Napa Valley. Gently applying his touch, experience, and insight, Philippe crafted the early vintages to enthusiastically reflect the power of our hillside terroir. His belief that hillside wines “are a little wild and need to be civilized” captured the essence of Marston.


Philip Togni and André Tchelistcheff (Vintage 1982 – 1986)André Tchelistcheff
André Tchelistcheff was America’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker, and most notable for his contributions toward defining the style of California’s best wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Called the “Dean of American winemakers”, industry giants such as Robert Mondavi and Louis Martini considered him their mentor.