President / Founder
With more than 30 years of experience selecting and dealing in the best rare and boutique wines, Frank is your Patron Saint of Tannins.
Frank grew up in Belgium, and came to the US for college. After graduating he interned at a few hospitality businesses, but quickly found his niche in wine. Frank worked in wine retail for 10+ years, and became the buyer and manager of a premier wine business in San Francisco before creating Golden Gate Wine Cellars June 19, 2005.
Frank has been a judge for the International Wine Competition since 1997, as well as a contributor to the SF Chronicle Wine Tasting Panel and Bon Appetit’s Tasting Panel.
From 1998 to 2005 Frank ran a consulting company, training restaurant staff in their wine programs (a service for restaurants that do not have sommeliers).
In 2007 Frank started Melis Family Winery, producing Cabernet Sauvignon from the “highly regarded” BeckstofferG3 vineyard in the Napa Valley. Since then, the winery expanded to produce Pinot Noir, Syrah and a Rose of Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara. All small-batch offerings, made by ace winemaker, Paul Lato.
Frank was a longtime member of the distinguished San Francisco Chronicle Wine Tasting Panel(1993-2003), SanFrancisco International Wine Competition (1994-2010), consultant to various wine bars and restaurants in Colorado, Florida and Hawai’i.
While working as the Wine consultant for Padovani Restaurant and Wine Bar in Honolulu, Frank garnered the following accolades:
- Wine Spectator, Best of Award of Excellence, 2000
- Wine Spectator, Award of Excellence, 1999, 2003
- Zagat Guide, Rating of Excellence, 1999, 2001
- Fodor’s, Special Recommendation, 2002
- Gayot, The Best Wine list of Hawaii, Excellent Rating, 2000
- Honolulu Advertiser Ilima Award, Critic’s Choice, 1999
- Ilima Award, Best Restaurant Wine List, 2003
- Honolulu Magazine Hale ‘Aina Award, Best Restaurant Wine List, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004
- Restaurant & Hospitality Rating Bureau International Wine Award of Excellence, Diamond Wine Award, 2004
Frank travels the US for private and corporate wine tastings from 5-500. Some of his clients include : Mckinsey Corporation, Schwartz Law Services, Putnam Investors, SF Waldorf Schools, St. Mary’s Hospital, Merrill Lynch (Columbus Ohio), Merrill Lynch (Ashland Kentucky), Somoroff Plus Film Studios, and others.