Leading Californian specialist, The Vineyard Cellars, will represent a winery from Santa Barbara for the first time. The 120ha Melville Winery is located in the Sta. Rita Hills in the heart of Santa Barbara, and the wines are made exclusively with fruit from the estate’s vineyards. Family-owned and run, its founder, Ron Melville was one of the first winemakers to plant in the Sta. Rita Hills – before the region gained AVA status in 2001.
The winery’s vineyards are “Cold Climate”; the Sta. Rita Hills have the longest growing season in the Northern Hemisphere, with bud break generally in late February and harvest lasting until late November. The combination of the region’s cooling wind and fog results in an extremely slow ripening period, which contributes to characteristics specific to this sub-region: intense colours and flavours; richness; weight; and a vibrant acidity. The resultant wines are very fresh with great potential for ageing.
Melville Winery specialises in Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay, with an impressive breadth of clones for each varietal. The 25 blocks are fermented in small batches and kept separate throughout “elevage” to maximise the site-specific characteristics. The following wines will be available from The Vineyard Cellars: 2014 Estate Chardonnay (RRP: £28.58); 2014 Estate Pinot Noir (RRP £36.75); 2014 Sandy’s Block Pinot Noir (£49.00); 2014 Block M Pinot Noir (£57.75); and 2015 Estate Syrah (£33.25). The wines will be positioned for the on-trade and independent retailers.
James Hocking, Wine Director at The Vineyard Cellars, comments: “We have built our reputation on great, boutique wines from classic Californian regions such as Napa and Sonoma, but we are now also seeing some really interesting developments in Santa Barbara. Sta. Rita Hills is a bit of an undiscovered gem and we are delighted to be able to add Melville Winery to our 35-strong portfolio.” For further information, please contact James Hocking, via: [email protected] The wines will be poured at The Golden State Tasting, on Monday, 8th May.