Matthew Rorick, owner and winemaker at Forlorn Hope, jumps headlong into the unknown as often as the opportunity arises. His mantra seems to be giving a voice to the misfit grapes and regions of California. When it comes to wine making he is decidedly minimalistic. All his wines are fermented using native yeast. Additives like enzymes, acid or tannin are not necessary and therefore avoided. The wines are only aged in neutral containers, including a sixty gallon vessel from the nineties. Sulphur is added in small doses either before bottling or after fermentation.


Yount Mill Vineyard in Napa is organically farmed and features incredible, 50-year-old Semillon vines. The grapes are pressed directly into neutral barrels where the juice ferments but does not undergo malolactic conversion. It is quickly bottled after settling and spends four years tucked away before release. This is truly inspired by proper Hunter Valley Semillon. 10.6% ABV

(377 Cases Produced) 793118


Ricci Vineyard is located on the Sonoma side of Carneros right next to the bay. The vines are about 15-years-old. The wine was fermented as whole clusters and was eventually pressed into neutral barrique where it rested for ten months. As per usual, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 9.64% ABV

(142 Cases Produced) 793118


This unlikely Iberian grape has somehow found a home in Alta Mesa, a sub-appellation of Lodi. The grapes are fermented entirely in whole clusters; stems provide nutrients for fermentation and the percentage of partial carbonic maceration gives the wine a lift. After twenty days on the skins, the wine is pressed off and aged in stainless steel for eight months before bottling. 12.47 ABV

(643 Cases Produced) 786994


Matthew Rorick farms a small vineyard high in the Sierra Foothills. Here, limestone and schist soils are paramount to the quality of the fruit. Whole clusters of Merlot are crushed by foot and ferment on the skins for 20 days. The wine is then pressed into neutral barrique for 20 months before bottling, unfined and unfiltered. More Slovenian than Californian. 12.9% ABV

(52 Cases Produced) 793120


Grapes for this cuvée come from Hill Family vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Early harvesting and the cool climate catches this grape right before opulent fruit takes over. The wine is fermented on its skins for two weeks with occasional punchdowns to extract phenolics. The resulting wine is aged in neutral barrel for a year before bottling. 12.88% ABV

(137 Cases Produced) 786992


Matthew’s own vineyard is located two-thousand feet above sea level in Calaveras County, in the Sierra Foothills. This field blend comprises Picpoul, Verdelho, Albariño and Muscat grown on limestone and schist. A portion of each variety is foot trod prior to pressing for aromatics and structure. The wine is fermented in open-top fermenters, stainless steel and a puncheon. It spends fourteen months on the lees before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. 14.21% ABV

(207 Cases Produced) 786991


Vare Vineyard in the Napa Valley was the first to embrace northern Italian grapes like Ribolla Gialla. Matthew chooses to ferment these grapes on the skins for several weeks before pressing them off. This ode to north-eastern Italy is then aged in neutral oak for twenty months before bottling. 12.94% ABV

(67 Cases Produced) 786993


Mokelumne Glen Vineyards in Lodi is a true oasis for long forgotten Germanic grape varieties. Starting in the nineties, Bob and Mary-Lou Koth started planting between five and seven vines of every northern variety they could get their hands on. The list is dizzying. Matthew harvested everything on the same day, crushed it all at once, and let it ferment completely wild in one 700L neutral barrel. After 14 months, it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 12.83% ABV

The Blend: Albalonga, Arnsburger, Bacchus, Blauer Portugueser, Blaufrankisch, Dornfelder, Ehrenfelser, Faberrebe, Forta, Freuburgunder, Gewurztraminer, Grauburgunder, Gruner Veltliner, Gutedel, Huxelrebe, Kanzler, Kerner, Morio Muscat, Muller-Thurgau, Noblessa, Optima, Oraniensteinen, Perle, Rieslaner, Riesling, Rotburger, Roter Traminer, Roter Veltliner, Scheurebe, Schonburger, Schwarzriesling, Siegerrebe, Sirius, St. Laurent, Silvaner, Traminer, Trellinger, Weissburgunder, Wurzer, and Zweigelt.

(77 Cases Produced) 793119