Los Angeles Times
LA Times: Winemaker Greg Brewer as the conductor of Melville’s ensembles: by S. Irene Virbila
Before he was a winemaker, Greg Brewer was a French teacher. The longtime winemaker for Melville Vineyards (and co-founder of Brewer-Clifton) does have a linguist’s flair for words, with plenty of slang and extravagant metaphors thrown into the mix. And he has a talent for explaining the complexities of winemaking without ever sounding preachy or dogmatic. What comes through loud and clear are his passion for wine and his fascination with its evolution from vineyard to cellar.
In a tasting seminar he gave recently for a group of wine professionals, we tasted through several flights of Pinot Noirs in which every wine had been made exactly the same — vinification, fermentation, the use of neutral barrels — except for one element. In some cases it was the type of soil, in others it was the varietal clone or whether stems were included during the fermentation. Considering that the barrel samples all came from just one area (the Santa Rita Hills) and one estate, the wines were astonishingly different. And yet each was a complete wine and could easily stand on its own.