Our Solvang tasting room opened its doors mid-summer 2014, and has since been welcoming guests from all over the world. We've made four vintages of wines so far, with the fifth 2017 vintage well on its way. Our award-winning, palette-pleasing wines are all derived from grapes grown in Cat Canyon’s Verna’s Vineyard, right here in Santa Barbara Wine Country.
The Lucky Dogg Winery is owned by its winemaker, Brent Melville. The brand was named after a rescue White Shepherd dog his family adopted in 2013, aptly named "Lucky", and Brent's uncanny lucky streak with securing amazing grapes during the conception of the business. The name was finalized after a single, remarkable game of golf between Brent and a friend: after hitting three holes in one in a single game, Brent's friend called him a "lucky dog". A lightbulb illuminated, the name clicked, and the Lucky Dogg brand was born! We want to share the good karma of our grapes with others, through the resulting wines that we produce.
In honor of our namesake, Lucky Dogg often features our favorite pets by naming wines after them or posting their photos in our tasting room. Special mentions include Luna, Brent's Siberian Husky ranch dog, and Ralphie, his shivering little Chihuahua. Our wine club members have embraced our theme, and have submitted several photos of their own pooches to grace our Dog Wall above our bar. For 2018, Lucky Dogg plans to collaborate with a rescue dog foundation and create a new line of wine with direct proceeds to the charity.
Our wines are barreled in neutral oak or kept in stainless steel tanks, allowing the essence of the vineyard and the purity of the grapes – and of the wines – to shine. Our winemaking style is holistic, natural, and all about balance. The amazing flavors that our wines exhibit are all derived from the respective terroirs, individual grape clones, and good farming practices at our vineyards. No artificial colors or chemicals are ever added!
We currently produce about 1100 cases, a big production increase from our original 750 cases in 2014. Our goal is to cap production at a mere 1500 cases per year, to maintain our boutique status. The current 2016 vintage consists of 14 different wines, primarily made from Syrah, Mourvedre, and Chardonnay grapes. We also have three reserve wine from the 2014 vintage available for tasting and for purchase.
Our signature wines are the cool-climate Syrahs and Syrah blends, such as our Brady's Blend and Doggy Style wines. The sharp white pepper flavor is a proven favorite, and suits almost any palette. For those of our customers that prefer something lighter, we make four different styles of Chardonnay! They vary from the crisp, steel-fermented type to deep, buttery, and aged in new oak. No matter your preference, we've got a unique wine just for you.
The grapes themselves are sourced from two different vineyards: Verna's Vineyard right here in Santa Barbara County and privately owned vineyards in Cambria, California. Verna’s Vineyard has an outstanding reputation for producing Burgundian and Northern Rhone-style wines, and is the growing region for our Pinot Noir, Viognier, and stainless steel Chardonnay. Our Syrah is sourced from the Cambria vines, since the maritime location of the region is ideal for inoculating the cool-climate characteristics that Brent loves.
For the best Lucky Dogg experience, be sure to visit our tasting room in Solvang, California. We are (and always will be!) kid and dog friendly. There's always toys and treats to entertain your little ones so you can sit back, relax, and find your new favorite bottle of wine.
We pride ourselves on our laid-back and friendly tasting room atmosphere, where questions are expected and conversation is encouraged! The associates are never stuffy, dull, or pushy. Our winemaker himself is often present behind the bar, and is more than happy to elaborate on his winemaking processes or tell his stories behind the styles (the one about his dog Luna is hislarious). In fact, it almost feels as if you've stepped into his living room for a private party, tailored exactly to your tastes.
Click here for a map to our front door and further details on our opening hours and availability.
Brent Melville, Owner/Winemaker/President
Lucky Dogg Winery is owned by Winemaker/President, Brent Melville. Our farming and winemaking philosophy revolves around the notion that perfect fruit will require little-to-no manipulation in the winemaking process.
Brent has a deep-rooted history in the wine industry, having managed farming operations for his family’s vineyards for the past 25 years. Brent’s first foray into vineyard management came in 1989, when his family purchased a vineyard in Calistoga, California, that would become the original Melville Vineyards. Brent worked grape harvests in that vineyard from 1989 through 1995, moving on to the family’s new vineyard purchase, 40 acres in Lompoc, which they acquired in 1996. In 1997, the family bought an adjacent, 55-acre parcel of land, now the existing Melville Vineyards and Winery, in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.
Brent continued to manage the vineyard operations for Lompoc’s Melville Vineyards through 2013, when he decided to venture out on his own – using fruit farmed from the 100-acre Verna’s Vineyard, located in Los Alamos’ Cat Canyon, in the Santa Barbara County Appellation, he launched Lucky Dogg Winery.
Brent now runs Verna’s Vineyard, giving him particular control over the cultivating methods behind his own wines, as well as strategic farming practices for the four other Central Coast labels who pull grapes from Verna’s Vineyard:
Tensley Wines, Casa Dumetz Wines, Consilience Wines, and Frequency Wines.
In line with Brent’s efforts to keep it local and keep his label close to the heart, his three children are represented in three of his current wines: Lucky Dogg’s 201g Syrah is referred to as son Brady’s Blend; the 2016 Viognier is made from grapes from daughter Ryann’s Block; and the 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir contains grapes from daughter Pressley’s Block.