Forlorn Hope Wines


The name Forlorn Hope is taken from the Dutch phrase ‘vorloren hoop,’ meaning ‘lost troop.’ This is the title given to soldiers who lead the charge headlong into enemy defences; those whose chances for success are slim but whose rewards are glory unrivalled. Forlorn Hope strives to embody this spirit. Their wines – grown organically in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains – are their headlong rush into the breach. Founded in 2005 by submarine telescope repairman turned professional skateboarder turned vintner Matthew Rorick, Forlorn Hope is all about tenacity and belief in the proverbial ‘little guy.’ It is a winery defined by passion, not pretence.


The fruit for Forlorn Hope is sourced from a single site, the Rorick Heritage Vineyard. Purchased and retitled by Rorick in 2013, the site is planted amidst limestone soils at 700m of elevation, the 30ha’s leaving on unmistakable mark on the wines. Beautiful aromatics, textural presence, and natural acidity define the wines sourced from one of the Sierra Foothills’ original vineyards. The site is not planted to the over common Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay that populate the portfolios of most California wineries. The varieties grown here range from well-known to downright apocryphal, revelatory of the dynamic mindset of this winery. In addition to the Chardonnay, the vineyard slopes bear Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Albariño, Verdelho, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Trousseau Noir, Grenache Blanc, and Muscat Blanc. Forlorn Hope embodies the endless viticultural potential of California, pushing boundaries rather than being constrained by the somewhat narrow range popular on the American wine market.



Winemaking – spearheaded by Matthew and his partner, long-time London resident Mara Ambrose – is rooted in natural practice. Aiming to produce pure and honest representations of site and variety, all wines are naturally fermented and are completely unoaked. In using these prudent techniques, they allow the magic of organic viticulture and the beauty of Calaveras Limestone to speak for themselves. Whether complex and nuanced or bright and easy drinking, each wine is a true and unadulterated expression of Rorick Heritage Vineyard.


Our selection of wines from Forlorn Hope Wines