A Little Dirt About Samsara Wines from winemaker Chad Melville

20 Sep

Chad and Mary Melville truly believe that they are winegrowers, not winemakers – that is, that all of the important work is done in the vineyard and there is little handling or manipulation once the fruit reaches the winery.

That includes the use of whole clusters in their fermentations, which lends a spiciness to the wines that they particularly like. “Stems help to absorb the overt fruitiness of wines.

To us, too many California wines are simply about fruit and lack the complexity that we hope to impart to our wines.” The resulting wine is an interpretation of the tenuous balance between the power of nature and elements beyond our control, and the human desire to reach perfection.

1. What was your first vintage year? 2004

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 1100

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? Yes. Located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. We are open Fri-Sun 11-4 and by appointment.

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? Growing grapes for 18 years.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Pinot Noir/syrah

6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make?

Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache.  Old school approach, wholecluster, neutral wood, native yeasts, unfined, unfiltered.

7. What vineyards do you source from? Melville, Rancho la Vina, Cargasacchi and Turner.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? Neutral, to express vineyard and varietal, not a forest.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? Cool climate.  High acids, feminine style wines.

10. What’s the story behind your name/label?  SAMsARA is sanscrit word, used in Tibetan Buddhism means navigating a balanced life.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery?  What took you so long…..

12. We’re curious…do you even get tired of drinking your own wine?  I taste my wine all the time, in an evaluated state.  I rarely drink my own wine.  There are too many other great wines out there to try and learn from.

13. Do you still have a day job?  Yes, my family’s winery, Melville.

To learn more about the wines of Samsara, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

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