Melville Vineyards We have to be brave; old school tradition with beautiful California fruit.
Located in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County, 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 at a spacing of 8’ x 3’ (1,812 vines per acre). Vines are all vertically shoot positioned with aggressive canopy management to ensure proper ripening and varietal development.
Our estate currently has 17 clones of Pinot Noir, 8 clones of Syrah, and 8 clones of Chardonnay – all on a variety of low-vigor rootstocks. All blocks are fermented in small lots and isolated through their entire period of elevage, which provides our 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.
RON MELVILLE – FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
“FARMING AND FAMILY HAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE CORE OF MELVILLE VINEYARDS”
Ron grew up with a love of gardening, a passion passed down to him from his father. Ron eventually turned his attention to grape growing, and since 1987, has devoted his life to studying viticulture and growing high-quality grapes in northern California. In Sonoma County’s Knights Valley, Ron successfully grew Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. At that time, his grapes were sold to renowned producers such as Geyser Peak Winery, Dry Creek Vineyards, and Chateau St. Jean. In 1996, Ron and his sons developed 82 acres of vineyards in Lompoc, where he planted 16 different clones of Pinot Noir, 6 different clones of Chardonnay, and 9 clones of Syrah. Ron’s extraordinary vision and decisive nature led him to purchase Melville’s Estate Vineyards years before the area received Federal recognition as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).
CHAD MELVILLE – HEAD WINEGROWER
“WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN BEING AN ESTATE… OWNING, FARMING, AND GROWING WINE FROM OUR LAND”
In 1997, working side by side with his father Ron and brother Brent, Chad helped to establish Melville’s Estate vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, a journey that began and continues to endure with tremendous passion and dedication. Since that time, Chad has received great critical acclaim for his wines. Through both his intimate knowledge of the vineyards and his relentless commitment to winemaking practices that honor tradition and the land, Chad understands the magical evolution each bottle of wine undertakes from vine to glass.