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A force of nature

Surfer on a wave during sunset

Winemaker Derek Rohlffs grew up exploring untamed places: California’s redwood forests, the Sierra Nevada, and the roiling surf of the Pacific Ocean. Nature became his teacher, his religion, and his muse. Following his passion, he pursued environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara and later winemaking at UC Davis before embarking on a career that allowed him to continue to explore—and protect—the natural world.

With an unwavering commitment to organic farming and sustainable winemaking, Derek seeks out special vineyards where he crafts authentic Pinot Noir that is true to its roots, wine that speaks to a specific time and place.

“I’m not trying to make the wine anything other than what it is meant to be.”

Derek Rohlff's Signature

– Derek Rohlffs

Derek Rohlffs Winemaker on porch of cabin in the forest

Guide it, channel it, embrace it

Outlier is shaped by forces of nature, not human intervention. Derek takes his cues from the rhythms of the natural world, allowing the pure flavors and character of the grapes and vineyards to shine.

His minimalist philosophy informs every aspect of farming and winemaking. At Outlier, we aren’t followers; instead, we’re forging a new way of winemaking. We explore outlying winegrowing regions with unique micro-climates where we know we can grow exceptional fruit from which to craft adventurous, premium Pinot Noir. In our CCOF-certified vineyards, we let nature take its course, using practices like regenerative dry-farming and sheep grazing to ensure that our vineyards—and the greater ecosystem—flourish. This natural approach continues at our CSW-certified winery where we intentionally use sustainable, environmentally-responsible practices to set a higher standard—not just for our wines, but also for our planet.

As a result, our grapes develop distinctive character and pure flavors that capture the essence of these remote, beautiful vineyards.

From the vineyard to the glass, these trailblazing wines take us to places we’ve never been before. We hope you’ll join us!

Derek Rohlffs Winemaker inspecting vineyard vines