One of our stops was at Melville vineyards. What a great place! Melville offers amazing Pinots, Syrahs, and Chardonnays at a reasonable price. In this economy, an amazing bottle of wine and a reasonable price goes a long way.
We tasted several of their pinots within different areas of their vineyard. With each wine, you can definitely make a distinction of the different characteristic of the wine based on the location of the vine. For example, Melville's Terraces Pinot Noir is planted on the west facing side of the Santa Rita Hills valley. The west side of the valley offers the cool breezes coming off the Pacific Ocean. With cooler climates, yields lower production of the vine. With lower production generally indicates a smaller grape and higher skin ratio. The more skin, the more tannins a wine has to offer. The Terrances pinot offered more bite, a darker hue, and a more complex finish as oppose to their estate pinot where the vines are not as exposed to the cool oceans breezes. The estate wine, offered a more fruit forward, easy drinking pinot.
This little winery in Santa Rita Hills has established themselves with quite a reputation in the wine industry. I have seen Melville wines at several great high end restaurants that sells a lot of other brand named wines along with their high end price tags such as a Paul Hobbs, Joseph Phelps, Silver Oak, Cakebread, etc. Melville is one of the few vineyards that do not sell or buy any of their grapes from anyone else. They are a purely an estate wine establishment. The next time you visit your local wine store or restaurant and is feeling a little intimadated with your wine selection, you can not go wrong by choosing Melville wine!