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The Vines

In 1989, Melville Vineyards, a family owned and operated enterprise was founded in Sonoma County's Knights Valley, where Ron Melville grew high quality, much sought after Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1996, Ron's desire to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brought Melville Vineyards to Lompoc's Sta. Rita Hills, located in the western Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California.

The Sta. Rita Hills appellation is where Ron Melville and his sons Brent and Chad Melville decided to develop their estate vineyards and winery, which means that all fruit for wine production is not only exclusively farmed and sourced from Melville Vineyards, but is also produced exclusively by Melville Winery. Since then, they have also developed an interest in Rhone varietals, particularly Northern Rhone Syrah and Viognier. The Melville estate achieves quality through the integrity of its farming practice and its respect to the microclimate.

The Melvilles believe that a fine wine begins in the terroir (teh-RWAHR) or microclimate of a vineyard. Terroir is the French term for soil. In the vineyard, it encompasses soil type and geographic factors which may influence the quality of wine. This is indicative of the Melvilles' decision to grow wine in the Sta. Rita Hills (AVA) appellation.

The Sta. Rita Hills appellation's microclimate, which is characterized by cool temperatures, prominent coastal winds and foggy mornings is known to be viticulturally suited to growing Burgundian grape varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Northern Rhone Syrah. The cool temperatures prolong the growing season which allows grapes longer hang time on the vines and heightened varietal flavor intensity. The soil is predominantly Lompoc dune sand, with various blocks possessing clay loam with shallow hard pans of Monterey shale. The cooling fog, and calcareous rock and sand helps produce grapes with natural acidity and flavor balance. This microclimate distinguishes Sta. Rita Hills as a premium region for cool climate fruit from the rest of Santa Ynez Valley. In September 2003, Wine Spectator Magazine presented a feature article on the distinctive Sta. Rita Hills appellation.

The Melville estate incorporates the pounds per vine formula in their farming practice. Farming pounds per vine inhibits overproduction and insures quality, balance and intense fruit flavor. The vineyards are planted at a spacing of 8' by 3' (1815 vines per acre) and are predominantly oriented on a North/South axis. Vines are all vertically shoot positioned with aggressive canopy management to insure proper ripening and varietal development.

Currently, we have 255,000 vines planted of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and two Rhone varietals, Syrah and Viognier within the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. There are 14 different clones of Pinot Noir, 9 different clones of Syrah and 6 different clones of Chardonnay all grafted on a variety of low vigor rootstocks. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Northern Rhone Syrah will be our primary focus.

Our grape production has supplied many Santa Barbara wineries, which include Brewer-Clifton and Samsara Wine Co. Experience these fine wines from Santa Barbara County.

_ The Melville Team_ |_Our Winemaker's Philosophy


5185 East Hwy 246, Lompoc, CA 93436
Tel: 805-735-7030, Fax: 805-735-5310


© 2015 Melville Vineyards and Winery