Every day is Earth Day at Melville Winery
On a spring day just over 50 years ago, people just like you and me took to the streets to fight for a healthy, sustainable environment. We now know this day in history, April 22nd, as Earth Day. Every year, millions of people across the globe take a moment out of the hustle and bustle of life to acknowledge the little things they can do to join in the fight for this future.
At Melville, our goal is to live every day like it’s Earth Day. One day just isn’t enough. There’s a lot of work to do but, luckily, we’re all in this together. Let us explain how we make all of our decisions to repay Mother Nature for the beauty she surrounds us with, the fruit she enables us to grow, and above all, leaving people and places better than we found them.
In the Vineyard
No one on this earth can go a single day without impacting the world around them. The good news is, we get to choose the type of impact we want to have. Nearly three decades ago, my dad and I made the decision to be a 100% estate winery, meaning we work exclusively with fruit from vineyards we own and tend to ourselves, in addition to controlling all aspects of making and selling our wine. Our ultimate goal is to nurture the land, vines, and fruit to maintain the purest forms of each possible. At the time of harvest, we consider the wine to already be made and strive not to interfere with its natural path. The entire team at Melville is committed to growing the highest quality fruit possible, and this notion is at the core of every decision we make. The Sta. Rita Hills appellation may give us the magical environment we use to grow our fruit, but the rest is up to us.
From Ground to Glass
I work closely with our full-time vineyard crew, who thankfully knows our land nearly as well as I do, to observe Mother Nature and care for the vineyard in a way that respects her cues. We are honored to lean on soil scientist Stan Kadota for his expertise in soil and plant nutrition. Since 2000, Stan has enlightened us on the benefits of focusing on soil fertility and plant health, with the goal of creating a healthy culture in the vineyard through a systematic approach. By viewing the soil as a living substance and taking careful consideration of what we put into the soil and how this impacts the soil-plant relationship, we are able to produce clean, nutritious fruit. As easy as this approach may sound, it’s an incredible responsibility as a farmer. In Stan’s words: “Saying we use a systematic approach sounds simple and speaks of an “of course” thinking, but the actual practice takes a lot of work on a daily basis and commitment of resources. We work on the schedule of Mother Nature, not the schedule we wish to make. Melville has made that commitment from Chad and Ron on down to the tractor driver on a seasonal as well as a continuing basis.” By ditching the conventional route and treating Mother Nature with the care and respect she deserves, we are rewarded with pure, high-quality fruit, which in turn allows us to make pure, high-quality wine.
For us, “living every day like Earth Day” isn’t just a vineyard or winery philosophy, it’s a life philosophy. We understand that every day we have a choice. A choice to make conscious moves in our vineyard and in our daily lives, to learn from our mistakes, and to strive to be better than we were yesterday. We can’t promise that we’ll be perfect, but we can promise that we’ll try, and we hope you will try too. I mean, look how Mother Nature repays us when we do our part? The evidence is all around us.
At the end of the day, we’re proud of the choices we make as farmers, so you, as consumers, can feel good about what’s in your glass. So drink up, friends!
-Chad Melville (Co-Founder & Head Winegrower)