Melville Estate Syrah


Have you ever been moved to tears by a sublime performance at the symphony? When each musician works with such discipline, mastery, and impeccable technique that the combination of instruments achieve something seemingly impossible - the perfect piece of art?

Elegance, strength, and complexity in their purest forms, without frivolous additions or distractions to make up for any flaws - the very same approach that Chad Melville brings to winemaking.

This transcendent Syrah is like listening to a flawless rendition of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. It has beauty, power, and a myriad of layers to discover - even in moments of a diminuendo. With an alluring floral perfume that wafts delicately out of your glass, this wine reveals layers of ripe berries, black pepper and a touch of blood-red meat, with a finish that lingers like the final note on the score. It’s beautiful, it’s captivating, and it’s inspiring how perfection can lead to something so downright enjoyable.

Pairs beautifully with the following spring meals:

~ Brothy meatballs with peas, fennel, and tiny pasta
~ Sumac rubbed lamb with minty artichokes
~ Pork Marbella
~ Pasta with braised pork, red wine, and pancetta
~ Charcuterie board


Curious to learn more?


Measure twice, cut once.

If there was a single phrase that could sum up the approach to winemaking at Melville, that would be it. Take the time (and have the discipline) to do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it again. Or in the world of wine, you won’t have to use any tricks in the winery to mask your mistakes.

That lesson was learned the hard way by Chad Melville as a child under his father’s roof. “You want money to hang out with your friends? I’ll give it to you after you wash the car,” Ron told his son. But when he came out to inspect Chad’s work, it wasn’t up to par. “Do it again, and do it properly.”

Lesson learned.



Chad has learned a lot from his father since that day and it shows in the quality of the wines he produces. He explained to me that his father’s influence is two-fold. First, it’s all about being disciplined. Maintaining hygiene and organization in the winery - and in the vineyard itself - are crucial for the success of the wine. And in that, “there’s something comforting about the order. Life can be crazy in a lot of ways but it’s nice to have that feeling in the cellar,” Chad acknowledged. With a disciplined approach, they have the ability to do their jobs without distractions and they can maintain 100% focus on the task at hand. Other wineries might be blasting music and cracking jokes all day, and while Chad and team have fun, they take pride in the discipline behind their work.

The second lesson Ron imparted was that if you are organized and diligent with your work, then you have the freedom to take risks - and taking risks can lead to huge rewards. Chad explained, “We use a lot of stems (when making our wines) which create risk, but it’s all in step with good winemaking practices. If you are going to take risks, you have to be disciplined.”

One of the most unique and fortuitous qualities of Melville is that all the grapes are estate grown. The most important thing to Chad is the concept of wine growing. “The wine isn’t made in the cellar, it’s grown outside. We own our land, we do our own farming, and we don’t purchase… It’s all about our farming, our connection to mother nature and our soil.” It’s not just a matter of owning land anywhere though, “You also need to be in the right climate, the right soil - we hang our hat on this site as being a really special place.”



Chad didn’t always want to be a winemaker. In fact, he rebelled against the idea at first and had another career in the world of finance before changing his tune and wanting to join the family business. One of my favorite stories Chad told me was when he asked his father if he could join the business and his father said, “Why would I hire you? You have no experience!” So off Chad went, to work his way up at another winery before his own father would consider hiring him at Melville. Eventually, Chad was brought on to the Melville team - at minimum wage and allowed to live in a trailer on the vineyard - but with time, hard work, and discipline, Chad grew to become one of the best winemakers around.

Clearly, if Ron Melville wanted to design a bumper sticker it would say, “There are no shortcuts in life” - whether you’re trying to produce the best wine possible, or simply clean your dad’s car in order to get a few bucks for the arcade. And while I’m sure it was frustrating for a young boy to learn, it sure is incredible to enjoy the results today!



Photos of the winery and producers are courtesy of Melville Winery.