Wednesday, April 8, 2020

New video: Winegrower Chad Melville

I could say, "in the latest Intoxicating Conversation with W. Blake Gray," but in fact this is the first one I recorded, last month.

Chad Melville, head winegrower at Melville Winery in the well-regarded Pinot Noir appellation Sta. Rita Hills, joins me to talk about why it's essential for wineries and vineyards to stay open, even during a pandemic.

Chad gives us an extremely practical lesson in planting grapevines, whether on their own roots (which he does, even though the dreaded vine killer phylloxera is present in Santa Barbara County) or on American rootstock.

We also learn about what happens if you leave a wine on the lees while the lees get stinky.

Because it's the first video recorded, I haven't learned to smile yet (arguably I still haven't.) But we did have the advantage of recording a prior take on which the video cut out because Chad tried to take the computer outside to show the rootstock. This is the only one of these videos where I have done a second take. It worked out for the best; we were both less nervous on this one. On the first one, we were talking too fast, talking over each other ... but on this one, we look like Zoom professionals. Right? (Don't answer that.)

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