Derek Rohlffs is Outlier Wine Co.'s Proprietor & Winemaker. With his Cherokee ancestry and California upbringing, Derek was drawn to nature since childhood. He pursued this passion in college, graduating with honors from the prestigious Environmental Studies program at UC Santa Barbara. While his degree was a great foundation for winemaking, it wasn’t until several years later that he would find his calling.
Raising money for charities ultimately provided the spark. At fundraisers, Derek had the opportunity to taste many great wines. He became fascinated by wine’s many facets, including geography, agriculture, and chemistry, and found many parallels to his environmental studies background. Eager to learn more, he took a stint at a wine shop that featured tastings with great producers. The experience ignited his desire to make wine himself.
Once he began winemaking in 2000, Derek proved to be a natural. Within 5 years, he had developed private label wines for famed restaurants as well as his own high-quality wine brands, several of which have became best sellers. These projects would serve as funding for his ultimate ambition—Bravium’s terroir-driven wines from great Northern California vineyards—which launched in 2007.
For his Outlier Wine Co. line, Derek selects fruit with great balance and flavor that can be made into affordable and thoroughly enjoyable wines.
For his winemaking style, Derek takes inspiration from the great wineries of Italy and France that he has visited. He has also travelled extensively throughout Australia. Derek's winemaking is focused on the vineyard; in the cellar, less is more. For his Pinot Noir, gentle handling allows the source fruit to remain at the forefront, vine to bottle. And for Chardonnay, whole cluster pressing with partial malolactic fermentation delivers aromatic intensity and freshness. The Outlier Wine Co. wines are blended to ensure consistent quality from year to year.
Outlier Wine Co. is located on Treasure Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The name Bravium (Latin for “reward, prize or gift”) dovetails with Derek’s Sip&Give program that donates a portion of wine sales to worthy charities selected by customers.
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