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.
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
139 acres planted with 255,000 vines of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and
two Rhone varietals, Syrah and Viognier between both our Sta. Rita Hills location and Verna's Vineyard in Los Alamos. 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.
We also have 100 acres on Verna's Vineyard in
Cat Canyon, 2 miles North of Los Alamos in the Santa Barbara County Appellation,
which is primarily dedicated to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
grape production is currently supplied to Santa Barbara wineries: Bonaccorsi Wine Company, Brewer-Clifton,
Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Ojai Vineyards, and Samsara Wine Co. Experience these fine wines from Santa Barbara
Melville Team_ |_Our