BIO: Director of Wine Paul Mekis
One of Paul Mekis’ earliest recollections is helping his grandfather and father, who regularly made their own wine, as they siphoned wine from barrels into gallon jugs. Today Mekis is a credentialed advanced sommelier -- one of only a few in the world -- and the restaurant wine director at Madera, the signature restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill® in Menlo Park. Mekis is also the director of wine for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ collection of distinctive properties throughout the world.
Mekis joined Madera following ten years at the celebrated Plumed Horse (Saratoga, California), where he oversaw the wine cellar and a wine list of more than 2,000 selections. While at the Plumed Horse, Mekis earned Wine Spectator's Grand Award, the highest honor in the magazine's annual dining guide, for nine consecutive years.
Mekis began as a wine steward in 1986, and honed his tasting and service skills under the tutelage of Master Sommelier Ronn Wiegand and Nunzio Alioto. Mekis’ impressive resume includes some of the best-known and revered restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including The Lark Creek Inn, Cypress Club, Aqua and the Plumed Horse. In 2005 Mekis became one of an elite group worldwide to earn the designation of advanced sommelier. Over the course of his career, Mekis has served as a wine judge, educator and representative for America at wine tastings throughout Europe, South America, and South Africa. He has also authored a monthly wine column for the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Santa Cruz Magazine.
Since the opening of Madera in 2009, Mekis’s direction of the wine program has led to three Wine Spectator awards of excellence, the highest honor for the size of the cellar at Madera. The restaurant has also earned a Michelin star for two consecutive years. Mekis takes particular pride in the sommelier team he has assembled at Madera which represents more than 50 years of wine experience among the three sommeliers.
In addition to overseeing the wine programs for Rosewood Sand Hill and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mekis is on the board of directors for the French Culinary Institute in Campbell, CA, and has been instrumental in the development of its sommelier intern program.