Winemaker Matthew Rorick started Forlorn Hope in 2005 having inherited from his grandfather a love of wine’s central place at the dinner table between friends and family. Devoted to the rare and strange, Matthew sought out our state's least grown and unique varieties.From far flung vineyards all over the state Matthew quickly made a name for himself with wines that like few others, helped expand the concepts of what Californian wine can and should be. Transparent, complex, and filled with life and energy, his wines excite both sommeliers and the natural wine devotee. Originally it was a “one-man” operation, just outside the town of Murphys in the Sierra Foothills. Matthew naturally attracts other talented and creative types and with the help of many folks over the years, Matthew grew his tiny label and as his wines attained a sort of cult status. In 2013, Matthew took a huge step and purchased the property that is now named the Rorick Heritage Vineyard.Peeking up to 2000 feet above sea level, the property had its start in the 1960’s when the ranching land was purchased by Calaveras County wine luminary Barden Stevenot. Stevenot put Calaveras viticulture on the map. He planted own-rooted Wente Chardonnay in ‘74-’76, some of which still remain today. After Matthew purchased the property in 2013 he immediately began organic conversion. Today, the 75-acre vineyard is devoted to an eclectic range of varieties planted or grafted in the limestone soils under a layer of schist.Having his own estate has allowed Matthew a level of control that has only helped to elevate what are already exceptional wines. While Matthew still sources many grapes for beloved cuvées, the majority of his output is now from estate fruit. The name of his vineyard now graces many a bottle from some of our state’s other exciting winemakers. This exceptional property is now producing some of our state’s most sought after fruit. Most Forlorn Hope wines are made in tiny quantities hence the “Rare Creatures” moniker but the bounty of his property has allowed him to make a couple of blends in more reasonable quantities (like 2000 cases instead of 200). These “Queen of the Sierra” wines are vivid illustrations of the potential in Calaveras County.Forlorn Hope wines are honest and pure, and clear representations of their site and variety. Along with the organic viticulture, this is achieved with a minimalist approach in the cellar. There are no chemical adjustments, additives, yeast, or bacteria; and there is no new oak allowed in the winery. Some wines will receive the minimum effective amounts of SO2, added either post-ferment or pre-bottling, while others are bottled with no sulfur added.Just like the man that makes them, these wines are filled with an electric energy.
Aromatic , Fruity , Minerally