Winery of the Month 9/19: The Revolution Will Be Vinified!
This month we’re celebrating one of the most compelling, provocative, and renegade projects in California wine, Matthew Rorick’s Forlorn Hope. Here at Bacco’s, we’ve been obsessed with this project for all the years that we’ve been aware of it. Why you ask? Because Forlorn Hope breaks the mold of convention in California wine with their focus on diversity, their embrace of natural winemaking practices, and their cavalier exploration of lands unknown. In 2013 Matthey Rorick took over their estate property in Calaveras County outside of the town of Murphys in the Sierra Foothills, converted it to organics, renamed it the Rorick Heritage Vineyard, and started producing wines from the blistering array of grapes planted on the estate. Here you’re more likely to find Mondeuse than Cabernet, Alvarinho instead of Sauvignon Blanc, and the wines are going to be made in an old-school, no-new-oak style with freshness and acidity for days. All of this bucks the trend in California of buying up land in some already established region to make an internationally styled, premium Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. It may pay to play it safe, but history will remember the revolutionaries that changed the way the world considered Californian wine!
California is the jewel of the West in the myth of America. A place of boundless potential and freedom, California was the promised land for peoples for generations, in part because of its limitless agricultural potential. Everything and anything grows there! It’s agriculturally prosperous, moderate in climate, and enormous (encompassing 160,000 square miles), meaning it’s got all the environmental diversity one would need to plant and grow what one wishes. That’s why it’s so puzzling for so many people in the wine business how California ever got stuck in the pigeonhole of Cabernet. Don’t get me wrong, their Cabernet is top notch, world class stuff, but California also has the potential to be much much more. For instance, Italy is planted with thousands of unique grapes across dozens on dozens of unique regions and it’s only three quarters of the size of California. There’s work to be done and the people at Forlorn Hope are on the avant garde.
People like Matthew are fearless to questions of whether or not it’s possible to make great wine in these new places. For this month’s Winery of the Month we’ll be offering up four bottlings that encapsulate the spirit of this project. A red blend made of Barbera, Trousseau, Tempranillo, Graciano, and Cabernet, single varietal bottlings of Tempranillo and Mondeuse, and a skin fermented Pipoul, all grown on the Rorick Heritage Vineyard estate site. We feel like these kinds of wines represent a whole new frontier for Californian wine and we believe that we need more wineries like Forlorn Hope out there setting new vistas. We can’t wait to see what happens next.
Through the month of September, we’ll be offering 10% off the wines of Forlorn Hope so come get ‘em before they’re gone!
Queen of the Sierra Red
Forlorn Hope C/Ghost Mondeuse
Forlorn Hope San Roriz Tempranillo
Forlorn Hope Moresque Skin Fermented Picpoul
ON SALE TROUGH THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER