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Melville Vineyards and Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Melville Vineyards and WinerySummary: Melville Vineyards and Winery, a family owned and operated winery, is located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Wine enthusiasts will discover a Mediterranean-style winery and tasting room amidst acres of vineyards. For the Melvilles the focus is on the vineyards.

The Melville Vineyards and Winery is located in a Mediterranean-style building in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The first vintage was in 1999. A picnic area near the vineyards is available for visitors who would like to bring a picnic basket and purchase a bottle of Melville wine to enjoy with the picnic.

Summary: Melville Vineyards and Winery, a family owned and operated winery, is located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Wine enthusiasts will discover a Mediterranean-style winery and tasting room amidst acres of vineyards. For the Melvilles the focus is on the vineyards. The Melville Vineyards and Winery is located in a Mediterranean-style building in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The first vintage was in 1999. A picnic area near the vineyards is available for visitors who would like to bring a picnic basket and purchase a bottle of Melville wine to enjoy with the picnic. The Melville family became involved in the 1990s when they owned vineyards in the Napa area. Ron Melville loved Pinot Noir wines from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and in 1996 decided to purchase land in Santa Barbara County. The property has an 800-foot deep well. The Melvilles planted 80 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a bit of Syrah. Today the vineyards total 120 acres. During the winter a cover crop is planted between the rows of vines. On the day of our late June visit, many of the grapes were already showing veraison.  For Melville the importance of the vineyard is emphasized with the statement “Everything is driven by the vineyard.” The first vintage was 1999. Harvest is typically one and a half tons per acre and the grapes are harvested by hand. The winery uses gravity flow and whole cluster fermentation. Each clone is fermented alone and wines are gently blended together. Some wines see extended maceration, grapes on the skins for 40 plus days. The wines are aged in neutral French oak and Pinot Noirs are aged for nine to twelve months. The winery produces 20,000 cases. Melville White Wines Chardonnay 2013 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a yellow color, and the aroma and taste offered notes of apple, pear and a hint of citrus. The wine offered a silky mouthfeel with some hints of freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp with fruit notes. Viognier 2012 Santa Barbara County was a yellow color. This wine was produced in stainless steel and neutral French oak. The aroma and taste were of floral notes especially blossoms, orange and tropical fruits. The finish had floral and tropical flavors. This is a 3P (porch, patio, pool) wine. Melville Red Wines Pinot Noir Estate Rosé 2013 was produced with free run juice. This juice was from all one clone. The light pink wine offered a delicate aroma and a light body. The wine was dry and the finish offered slight notes of fruit. This is also a good 3P (patio, porch, pool) wine. Suggested pairings included summer kabobs, grilled shrimp and fruit salads. Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Clone 115, Indigine Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a translucent ruby color. This wine was made with indigenous yeasts. The aroma and taste had notes of raspberry with a little spice and mild tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to baking spices. Pinot Noir Terraces 2012 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a translucent red color. The aroma and taste offered baking spices, red raspberry and some blueberry notes. The wine had mild tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit and spice blending together. Syrah Estate 2012 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a ruby color. The aroma and taste offered black fruit notes especially black raspberry and blueberry. The wine had bold tannins. The finish had fruit yielding to cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pinot Noir 2012 Block M was a translucent red/purple. The aroma and taste had notes of mushroom, red raspberries and a hint of spice. The wine offered tannins and the finish was dry and fruity. Suggested pairings for this wine included roast chicken, cream of mushroom soup, fig and goat cheese tart and cherries jubilee. While in Santa Barbara we attended a wine tasting of Santa Barbara County with Steven Spurrier. Two Melville wines were tasted at this special event. The 2013 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a dark yellow color. The wine offered citrus with a crisp finish. The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a translucent red. The wine had raspberry hints with a trace of leather. It had bold chewy tannins.  Wine Clubs Melville has three wine club levels. Members of each level receive shipments three times each year. The Premier Cru offers three bottles, Grand Cru has six bottles, and Monopole includes 12 bottles per shipment. Other benefits are included in each level. For more information about Melville Vineyards and Winery visit their website. Plan to visit Melville with a picnic basket and enjoy it with a bottle of Melville wine.  Melville Vineyards and Winery 5185 East Hwy 246 Lompoc, CA 93436  GPS: N34º 39.995’ W120º 19.868’    Vineyards

The Melville family became involved in the wine industry in the 1980s when they owned vineyards in the Knights Valley AVA of Sonoma. Ron Melville loved Pinot Noir wines from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and in 1996 decided to purchase land in Santa Barbara County. The property has an 800-foot deep well. The Melvilles planted 80 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a bit of Syrah. Today the vineyards total 120 acres. During the winter a cover crop is planted between the rows of vines. On the day of our late June visit, many of the grapes were already showing veraison.

Melville Vineyards and WineryFor Melville the importance of the vineyard is emphasized with the statement “Everything is driven by the vineyard.” The first vintage was 1999. Harvest is typically one and a half tons per acre and the grapes are harvested by hand.

Winery

The winery uses gravity flow and whole cluster fermentation. Each clone is fermented alone and wines are gently blended together. Some wines see extended maceration, grapes on the skins for 40 plus days. The wines are aged in neutral French oak and Pinot Noirs are aged for nine to twelve months. The winery produces from 14,000-18,000 cases split between 12 different Pinot Noirs, four different Chardonnays and three different Syrahs.

Melville Vineyards and WineryMelville White Wines

The tasting room is bright and open. There is an L-shaped tasting counter than can accomodate several people for wine tastings.

Chardonnay 2013 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a yellow color, and the aroma and taste offered notes of apple, pear and citrus. The wine offered a silky mouthfeel with some hints of freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp with fruit notes. Viognier 2012 Santa Barbara County was a yellow color. This wine was produced in stainless steel and neutral French oak. The aroma and taste were of floral notes especially orange blossoms and tropical fruits. The finish had floral and tropical flavors. This is a 3P (porch, patio, pool) wine.

Melville Vineyards and WineryMelville Red Wines

Pinot Noir Estate Rosé 2013 was produced with free run juice. This juice was from the same Pinot Noir clone. The light pink wine offered a delicate aroma and a light body. The wine was dry and the finish offered slight notes of fruit. This is also a good 3P (patio, porch, pool) wine. Suggested pairings included summer kabobs, grilled shrimp and fruit salads. Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Clone 115, Indigine Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a translucent ruby color. This wine was made with indigenous yeasts. The aroma and taste had notes of raspberry with a little spice and mild tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to baking spices. Pinot Noir Terraces 2012 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a translucent red color. The aroma and taste offered baking spices, red raspberry and some blueberry notes. The wine had mild tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit and spice blending together. Syrah Estate 2012 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a ruby color. The aroma and taste offered black fruit notes especially black raspberry and blueberry. The wine had bold tannins. The finish had fruit yielding to cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pinot Noir 2012 Block M was a translucent red/purple. The aroma and taste had notes of mushroom, red raspberries and a hint of spice. The wine offered tannins and the finish was dry and fruity. Suggested pairings for this wine included roast chicken, cream of mushroom soup, fig and goat cheese tart and cherries jubilee.

Melville Vineyards and WineryWhile in Santa Barbara we attended a wine tasting of Santa Barbara County wines with Steven Spurrier. Two Melville wines were tasted at this special event. The 2013 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a dark yellow color. The wine offered citrus with a crisp finish. The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a translucent red. The wine had raspberry hints with a trace of leather. It also had bold chewy tannins.

Wine Clubs

Melville has three wine club levels. Members of each level receive shipments three times each year. The Premier Cru offers three bottles, Grand Cru has six bottles, and Monopole includes 12 bottles per shipment. Other benefits are included in each level.

For more information about Melville Vineyards and Winery visit their website. Plan to visit Melville with a picnic basket and enjoy it with a bottle of Melville wine.

Melville Vineyards and Winery

5185 East Hwy 246
Lompoc, CA 93436

GPS: N34º 39.995’ W120º 19.868’

 

Article written July 2014


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