Syrah Grapes - Melville Vineyard
Syrah is a versatile grape that can grow in a wide range of soils and climates. It thrives on the granite rich slope of Hermitage as well as in the heavy clay earth of the Barossa Valley. It can make fantastic wine when grown in both the hot Paso Robles sun as well as the cool coastal reaches of Sonoma. It's adaptability and fluidity allow it to be produced in a variety of styles and recently its popularity has erupted.
Pictured here is a Syrah cluster from the Melville Vineyard located in the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara California. Santa Rita Hills is considered a very cool climate growing zone and rarely sees summer temperatures higher than 75°F. Syrah ripens extremely slowly here and it is not uncommon for harvest at this site to take place as late as November. This long growing season allows for the development of intense peppery and smoky tones in the fruit and also permits near full lignification of the stems, which can then be utilized during fermentation to add further complexity. While the Pinot planted in nearby vineyards has already been harvested this Syrah clearly still has a ways to go before it is ready be plucked from the vine.