Ron Melville - President
Ron Melville, a businessman,
and the founder of Melville Vineyards, grew up with a love of gardening,
a passion he shared with his father. Ron also developed a love of good
wine and began collecting it during college. While he pursued a successful
career in finance as a member of the Pacific Stock Exchange, he knew his
love of gardening and wine would keep alive his dream to develop his own
vineyard. Melville Vineyards is the realization of Ron's Dream.
Since 1987, Ron has devoted his time studying viticulture and growing high quality grapes, first
in Sonoma County's Knight's Valley and now in western Santa Ynez Valley.
In Knights Valley, Ron successfully grew Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet
Sauvignon. This fruit made it into the reserve programs of Geyser Peak
Winery and Dry Creek Vineyards and into Chateau St. Jean wine production.
Ron's passion for
Burgundian wines brought him to Lompoc, located in western Santa Ynez
Valley, within the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. In 1996, he developed
82 acres of vineyards in Lompoc where he heavily planted 14 different
clones of Pinot Noir and 4 different clones of Chardonnay. Ron also included
plantings of Rhone varietals, Syrah and Viognier. This grape production has made it into the winemaking programs of top winemakers in Santa Barbara County from Bonaccorsi Wine Co., Brewer-Clifton, Jaffurs Wine
Cellars to Whitcraft Winery.
Approximately fourteen years
ago, he purchased 100 acres in Cat Canyon which he named Verna's Vineyard, 2 miles North of Los Alamos
in Santa Barbara County, for vineyard development. Cat Canyon is primarily
dedicated to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah production. The shared enthusiasm of Ron's
sons, Brent and Chad Melville, and winemaker Greg Brewer have sparked
a family project -- the future success of Melville Winery.
Brewer - Winemaker
A French teacher,
consultant, musician and winemaker - Greg Brewer. This modern renaissance
man brings extensive experience and talent in winemaking to Melville
Vineyards& Winery. Before joining Melville, Greg was assistant winemaker
to Bruce McGuire at Santa Barbara Winery. While at Santa Barbara Winery,
he served as a board member to the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association.
Greg was also the winemaker and general manager at Sunstone Vineyards
Among his most
impressive works in winemaking is the creation of Brewer-Clifton Wines.
The Brewer-Clifton label was the result of a passion for Burgundian
wines shared by close friends - Greg and Carrie Brewer, and Steve Clifton.
Together, they have vinified top-rated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from
Santa Barbara County. When not winemaking or hosting occasional winemaker
dinners, Greg shares his passion with others by presenting lectures
on viticulture and oenology. His philosophy for making fine wine is
that it begins in the terroir of a vineyard. The 1997 Brewer-Clifton
Sweeney Canyon Chardonnay and the 1997 Brewer-Clifton Santa Maria Hills
Pinot Noir support the success behind Greg's philosophy.
Greg was featured in Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the "Winemakers
to Watch in the 21st Century." and highlighted recently in
Wine Spectator magazine in July 2003
and September 2003.
Melville - Vineyard Manager
Melville, a former stock trader, worked in his family's vineyard business in Knight's Valley in Sonoma County. There he gained valuable experience in grape production and vineyard
management. After pursuing a career in the stock market, Brent, a farmer at heart, joined
forces with his father Ron in 1996 to develop Melville Vineyards & Winery in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation in Santa Ynez Valley and the later developement of Verna's Vineyard in Los Alamos. Brent studied viticulture and oenology at UC Davis and has worked
extensively with viticulturists to develop his skill for vineyard management. For
the past twelve years, Brent has been instrumental in the vineyard development
of 82 acres in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation of Santa Ynez Valley and in the development of Verna's Vineyard in Cat Canyon.
Brent manages both Sta. Rita Hills Vineyard and Verna's Vineyard, 100 acres of Melville estate fruit in Cat Canyon located in Los
Melville - Sales Director
Melville, like his brother Brent, left the stock market to pursue a career in winemaking. Chad's
experience working for Melville Vineyards' grape production in Sonoma
County ignited his interest in wine. This interest sent Chad abroad
to Australia, France, New Zealand and South Africa where he researched viticulture, vinification and oenology.
Chad continued his viticulture, vinification and oenology studies at UC Davis. He has
worked with reputable Santa Barbara County winemakers such as Greg Brewer, Bruce McGuire,
Craig Jaffurs, Lane Tanner, and Chris Whitcraft. He brought this knowledge to Melville where he assisted in winemaking and
was instrumental in the development of Melville Vineyards & Winery. His abundant knowledge of wine production from farming to bottling is now served heading Melville's wholesale sales and distribution as Sales Director.
Kurt Ammann - General Manager
Kurt graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelors of Science in Agri-business, a Minor in Viticulture and a Masters of Business Administration. After completing his education, Kurt left the Central Coast to accept the position of Direct To Consumer Manager with Stag’s Leap. As a member of the Stag’s Leap executive team. In 2007, Kurt was recruited to the Santa Ynez Valley to develop the Direct Sales Programs for Dierberg and Star Lane Vineyards. After 3 years of successfully building and managing Dierberg and Star Lane Vineyard's Direct Sales, he was promoted to General Manager, where he continued to steer their company as a whole. In addition, Kurt has served on the Board of The Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance, both as a Board Member and as the President. Kurt also served for 4 years with The Santa Barbara County Vintners Association as a Board Member and as President. Kurt currently sits on The World of Pinot Noir Board of Directors. Most importantly, Kurt is very proud to be the father of 3 beautiful and inspiring children and to be the husband of a supportive and wonderful wife.