Forlörn Hope - Dragone Ramato (2019)
Grown on the Rorick estate vineyard in Calaveras County, on soils comprised of a layer of schist over dolomite-rich limestone. Elevation of the vineyard is 2000’. The name ‘Dragone Ramato’ contains both an indication of the style of the wine as well as a historical nod to one of the families that lived on our estate in the early 1900s. ‘Ramato’, translating to ‘copper’ from the Italian, is a traditional style of wine in the Veneto, where Pinot grigio is fermented on the skins as one would make a red wine and results in a lightly colored wine which will become more copper hued as it ages. The Dragone family lived on the western end of what is now the RHV estate where our Pinot gris is now planted, and their memory is carried on in the name that this wine bears.
The Dragone Ramato Pinot gris was hand harvested; the clusters are tiny (golf-ball sized) and intensely colored. This wine was made in the traditional Italian ramato style: Whole clusters were placed into the fermenter and given daily pigeage just like a red wine; after 14 days the fermentation was pressed into neutral 227L oak barriques. The wine was racked off its lees at 4 months and saw a total of 10 months elevage. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. As with all Forlorn Hope wines, no new oak is utilized, and nothing was added to the must or wine (no cultured yeast, ML bacteria, water, tartaric acid, enzymes, nutrients, etc) with the exception of minimal effective SO2.
About the Winemaker:
Forlorn Hope's estate wines are grown on Rorick Heritage Vineyard. Located in Calaveras County, just outside of the town of Murphys in the Sierra Foothills, the site was first ranched by the Shaw family in 1844. The property was purchased by Barden Stevenot in the 1960s; he became the godfather of the modern Calaveras County winegrowers when he planted own-rooted Wente Chardonnay from 1974-76. We are grateful that several acres of these original heritage plantings still remain - they are a direct link to the first person who recognized the potential of this site's soil and climate for winegrape cultivation. Barden eventually expanded the vineyard to its current 75 acres in 2000; Matthew Rorick purchased the property in 2013 and converted the farming to organic practices. At an elevation of 2000′, it is situated on limestone soils beneath a top layer of schist. The alpine growing season combined with limestone soils leave an indelible mark on the wines grown at RHV: beautiful aromatics, textural presence, and bright natural acidity are all hallmarks of the site.