Melville Vineyard & Winery


Santa Rita Hills Top Estate

Situated amongst the beautiful rolling hills of Western Santa Ynez Valley, Melville is dedicated to producing exceptional cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah grown exclusively in their estate vineyards throughout the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Prior to coming to the Santa Ynez Valley, the Melville family grew high-quality and greatly sought-after grapes in Sonoma County's Knights Valley for over ten years.

Ron Melville had a great desire to grow cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. In 1996 they founded Melville Vineyards in the area that was later to become the Sta. Rita Hills, an area located in the Western Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. The family owned and operated winery is now known as one of the most highly-regarded estates in California.

The Sta. Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County is unique geographical area with a valley traversing East to West with the Pacific Ocean bordering on the West end. The "sideways" orientation brings direct marine influence into in the vineyards throughout the appellation.

Melville currently has 120 acres under vine. The soil is mostly Lompoc dune sand, interspersed with clay loam and shallow hard pans of Monterey shale. These vineyards are predominantly north/south-facing, planted in a high-density fashion. Vineyard management is key element of the Melville philosophy of wine growing rather than wine making. By concentrating efforts out in the vineyard, prior to harvest, less work is need in the winery, and thus the true nature of the grape shines through in the final wine.

The estate currently has 16 clones of Pinot Noir, 9 clones of Syrah, and 6 clones of Chardonnay. All blocks are fermented in small lots and isolated through their entire period of elevage, which gives 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.

Chad Melville
Chad Melville
Country America
Region California Wine
Appellation Santa Barbara County, Sta. Rita Hills

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