Sonoma turned Sierra Foothills specialist
- Matt has spent over 2 decades making 90+ rated wines in Sonoma County at renowned wineries like Quivira Vineyards, Sebastiani, Robert Young and Baldassari, so he’s primed to make wines for you!
- Matt’s mission is to bring Angels lesser-known Mediterranean varieties like Picpoul, Barbera and Grenache. They’re unlikely heroes here in the states but really flourish in Amador County in California's Sierra Foothills. He’s pumped to show off what this region can do.
- Matt first met Angels in 2020 as a recipient of Naked’s COVID Relief Fund. You helped him stay on his feet when his Windsor tasting room was closed. Fast forward – now Matt’s working with premium grapes from one of California’s finest under-the-radar appellations – his dream come true!
Matt Michael's Story
Matt Michael comes from an Italian family – His grandparents were born in Italy – and that heritage carried over through the generations, even as Matt Michael’s parents settled in Chicago and New Jersey. It’s fair to say Matt grew up with wine as an integral part of his daily life. When he and his family eventually moved to California, his parents took him along to wine tastings. He recalls sneaking over a hill and looking inside production at Château St. Jean at a very young age.
That peek into Château St. Jean stayed with him. In college, Matt gravitated towards a career in alcohol production. He was especially fascinated with wine and beer, earning a degree in Fermentation Science from UC Davis in 2000.
Matt took to his winemaking career straight away. Matt’s made wine in Sonoma County for over 20 years at wineries like Quivira Vineyards, Sebastiani, and Wattle Creek. He is also winemaker at Robert Young in Alexander Valley and has his own brand, Baldassari, so he has some serious clout, too.
Matt’s greatest joy was launching his own brand. It has been a lot of hard work, but very rewarding along the way. Earning his first mid-90 point critic’s score was a sign that he was on the way to delivering great wines.
Matt crafts wines that have varietal correctness – they smell and taste like the variety – with little to no oak, so as to not interfere with the grapes’ sense of place. He makes wines with clean aromas, streamlined flavors and a supple mouthfeel.
While his own brand was growing, the world shutdown - and Matt’s Baldassari tasting room closed during lockdown orders in 2020. Naked’s COVID Relief Fund helped Matt when his cellar doors were shut. It was the start of a great relationship! Now Matt is making wines just for Angels, and he loves being a part of a larger community of wine lovers – where he can receive your direct feedback. With your support, his focus is making lesser-known wines from California’s hidden gem region, Amador County, in the Sierra Foothills. His mission? “To deliver undervalued varieties and regions to the people!”
As a homage to his Italian heritage, Matt’s exclusive wines for Angels feature cherry blossoms – a visual representation of his paternal family name – Morello – meaning sour cherry.