Melville is an all-estate driven winery with a focused commitment to producing Burgundian and Northern Rhône varietals with the utmost respect for their history as well as the site on which they are grown. Located in the center of the Santa Rita Hills appellation, in Santa Barbara County, the estate currently has 85 acres planted to vineyards.
Founded in 1989, Ron and his son, Chad Melville, uphold Melville’s tradition as one of the most highly-regarded estates in California.
|APPELLATION(S)||Santa Rita Hills|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
When Ron Melville and his sons decided to develop their estate vineyards and winery in Lompoc, a prime area for growing cool-climate varietals, they recognized the importance of distinguishing this unique area within the valley. As such, the Melville family was heavily involved in the creation of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, which was granted in 2001.
The climate here is significantly impacted by its proximity to the ocean (10 miles), consistent morning/evening fog, and steady afternoon winds. These cooling trends are not only perfectly suited to growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah, but also serve to prolong the growing season, allowing for heightened varietal flavor intensity. Additionally, the area’s cool climate and calcareous rock and sand help produce grapes with natural acidity and flavor balance.
The soils are predominantly Lompoc dune sand, with various blocks possessing clay loam with shallow hard pans of Monterey shale. The vineyard is planted at a spacing of 8’ x 3’ (1,812 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. The estate currently has eleven clones of pinot noir, ten clones of syrah and five clones of chardonnay all on a variety of low vigor rootstocks.
As an estate vineyard, Melville is able to control all farming practices in the vineyard throughout the year, from irrigation to soil nutrients to leafing and shoot-thinning practices.
All different blocks are fermented in small lots and isolated through their entire period of elevage, which provides Melville’s team with an ongoing exhibition of how they can fine tune vineyard practices in order to achieve the most unmanipulated and site-specific wines possible.