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Wine

Ron Melville Named Honorary Lead Vintner of 35th Taste of the Town Santa Barbara

Ron Melville Click to view larger
Ron Melville (Courtesy photo)

The Arthritis Foundation Central Coast has named wine pioneer Ron Melville of Melville Winery as honorary lead vintner for its 35th Annual Taste of the Town Santa Barbara — the area’s signature culinary event, featuring tastings from 80 of the finest local restaurants and Central Coast wineries, breweries and distilleries; live music; and an impressive silent auction. The annual event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, at Riviera Park Gardens, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra. 

All proceeds from Taste of the Town Santa Barbara support the local programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation. Melville will be feted at the event by organizers and presented with an award honoring his support and service over three decades.

Honorary Lead Vintner Melville has devoted his life to studying viticulture and growing high-quality grapes, producing some of the most sought-after vintages worldwide.

He grew up with a love of gardening, a passion passed down to him by his father, and he has passed it on to his own sons.

Beginning in 1987, Melville began growing chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes in Sonoma County’s Knights Valle and sold at that time to renowned producers such as Geyser Peak Winery and Chateau St. Jean.

In 1996, Melville’s desire to grow cold-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and syrah brought Melville Estate Vineyards to the Sta. Rita Hills, located in the western Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County near Lompoc.

There Melville and his sons developed 82 acres of vineyards where they planted 16 different clones of pinot noir, 6 chardonnay and 9 Syrah.

Since then, wine judge Robert Parker has given scores of 95 points or more (out of 100 possible) to 15 Melville wines over the years — the highest score of 99 points was awarded to the 2012 Melville Syrah (Donna’s Vineyard.)

In 2015, Wine Enthusiast magazine awarded the Melville 2013 Verna’s Syrah (Santa Barbara County) with 94 points and named it one of the top 100 wines of the year.

Today, Ron and his son Chad Melville uphold Melville’s tradition as one of the most highly-regarded estates in the world. 

The Arthritis Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of 53 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) with arthritis through health education, advocacy, research and local juvenile arthritis support.  

Taste of the Town Santa Barbara tickets purchased in advance are $125 per person; tickets at the door will be $140. Tickets are limited, so advance reservations are encouraged by calling the Arthritis Foundation at 805.563.4685 or visiting www.arthritis.org/tasteofthetownsb.

Returning to co-chair this 35th annual Santa Barbara food-and-wine tradition are opal restaurant and bar co-owners Tina Takaya and Richard Yates. 

The 2016 Taste of the Town Santa Barbara also has three honorary lead chefs, including Bacara Resort & Spa’s executive chef, Vincent Lesage, who recently opened the beautiful new restaurant Angel Oak at Bacara; Patrice Martineau, executive chef at Montage Beverly Hills; and Johan Denizot, executive chef at the Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara. 

Each chef and his team will design a course as part of a spectacular menu for event sponsors and guests at the unique Connoisseurs’ Circle on Friday evening, Sept. 9, 2016, at Bacara Resort & Spa.

Now in its eighth year, the Connoisseurs’ Circle VIP experience creates a wonderful opportunity to enjoy culinary expertise up close before Taste of the Town’s traditional Sunday food and wine event at Riviera Park Gardens. 

Tickets to the Connoisseurs’ Circle event are very limited and available only in advance at www.arthritis.org/tasteofthetownsb.

Taste of the Town is pleased to acknowledge its confirmed sponsors, including official automotive partner BMW Santa Barbara; wine glass sponsors Montecito Bank & Trust and HUB International Insurance Services Inc.; and event sponsors First Click Inc., The Berry Manopal restaurant and bar, Terry Ryken, Amye Leong & Bob Price and Jeffery Baldwin & Michal W. Wiesbrock.

Additional Taste of the Town sponsorship opportunities and benefits are still available by contacting Michal W. Wiesbrock at 805.563.4685 or visiting www.arthritis.org/tasteofthetownsb.

Laura Kath is a publicist representing the Arthritis Foundation of Santa Barbara.

 

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