Thursday, February 21, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 51
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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on July 22nd, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 20 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 20

Spotlight on: Lucky Dogg Winery

Brent Melville, owner

By EMMA FUHS


TRY A TASTE
Lucky Dogg Winery welcomes visitors to enjoy a glass of locally crafted wine in a family-friendly setting.
PHOTO BY BRENT MELVILLE

Tucked amid the green of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is a quaint destination that appeals to locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by rolling hills and vineyard-covered knolls, Lucky Dogg Winery has found an idyllic setting to call home. The business venture of local vintner Brent Melville, Lucky Dogg has all the makings of a new classic.

“I thought Solvang was a great location for wine tasting,” Melville said. “I really didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Melville has a unique background in viticulture. Having managed farming operations for 25 years, he understands what it takes to make a winery thrive. In 1989, he had his first experience with vineyard management on a farm in Calistoga. This farm went on to become the original Melville Vineyards. He continued to gain valuable knowledge about the inner workings of winemaking on the existing Melville Vineyards and Winery in the Santa Rita Hills American Viticulture Area.

Now, Melville feels that it’s time to embark on a new and exciting journey.

The fruit used in Lucky Dogg wines is cultivated in the 100-acre Verna’s Vineyard, located in Los Alamos.

Melville has a simple philosophy when it comes to winemaking: He believes that the grapes should require little to no tampering, meaning the natural flavors can stand out. Thus, he stores Lucky Dogg wines in neutral oak barrels or stainless steel tanks, allowing the un-manipulated flavor of the grapes to shine.

Lucky Dogg isn’t just a place for adults; the intimate and relaxed tasting room invites children and dogs to stay a spell as well. With a “chalkboard wall,” toys, and TV, children can feel just as comfortable as the more mature visitors at this tasting room.

“When we decided to launch Lucky Dogg, we had the arduous task of coming up with an appropriate name for the label. … Then one day on the golf course, my friend, referring to my ‘lucky’ streak, called me a ‘lucky dog.’ And it all clicked. We want to share the good karma of our grapes with others, through the resulting wines that we produce,” Melville explained.

He hopes that Lucky Dogg will be more than just a new tasting room in the community. He plans on giving back to the area by donating money to a cause that’s very dear to him.

“We plan to do a very special barrel in the next couple of harvests, the proceeds of which will go to local animal rescue organizations. What’s good luck if you can’t share the wealth?” Melville said.

And he wants everyone to feel included at Lucky Dogg. He plans to have a membership program called the “Dogg House” for customers who enjoy the product.

“We’re trying to keep this very family oriented,” he emphasized.

His focus on local business and ingredients extends to the co-operative “Le Crush” that houses Lucky Dogg’s winemaking operations. And one must look no further than the names of his current wines to see the passion Melville has for family. All three of his children are represented in the wine: a 2013 syrah is “Braeden’s Blend,” a 2013 viognier is made with grapes from daughter “Ryann’s Block,” and the fruit for a 2013 rosé of pinot noir was grown in “Pressley’s Block.”

Lucky Dogg will retain a boutique winery status for the time being, and aims to serve the surrounding area with high-quality wine and a friendly attitude.

“I want to provide a good bottle of wine at a good value,” Melville said.

 

Intern Emma Fuhs wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, email, or mail.




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