|Color & Type
From the west side of Melville estate, the three undulating slopes of Terraces cascade down from Block M and lie completely exposed to the elements. 4.9 acres in total, Terraces is planted on clay-rich loam and calcareous shale soils. The three sections wrap 120 degrees around Block M, facing severe wind pressure, several different sun exposures and challenging drainage issues.
It is planted to five different clones of Pinot Noir: Swan, Mount Eden, 115, 667 and 777, making for a unique combination of older California field selections and newer Dijonnaise clonal material. 60% of the fruit is gently de-stemmed with 40% remaining as whole clusters.
In 1996, founder Ron Melville's desire to grow cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah brought him to the Sta. Rita Hills where he established his winery, situated amongst the beautiful rolling hills where the grapes are grown exclusively in their three estate vineyards.
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. The estate currently has 16 clones of Pinot Noir, 9 clones of Syrah, and 6 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 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.
Melville “grows their flavors,” using no new oak and adding only yeast.