The LOLA vineyards are located in Napa Valley near the Russian River Valley. Often cool and with foggy mornings, this area is an exceptional environment for gentle ripening of the grapes throughout the summer, producing well-balanced and fruit-driven wines. From Seth Cripe’s early training with the Caymus vineyards to his European excursions, he understands all of the components that work together to create an excellent glass of fine wine and he brings that to his LOLA vineyards. “I would go to Europe in the winters for 3 or 4 months to work with producers on various aspects of the craft. Like mechanical farming, of which France is the technological leader, wine styles, farming techniques, bringing different clones back to plant in new coastal areas of California.”
Cripe’s success in the wine industry can be attributed to his philosophy, it’s all about balance. “In certain times, great and amazing things come from straying far away to either side of that balance line creating progression, but ultimately what lasts is that center line and, more often than not, keeping close to that line honors all that comes before us.” The LOLA wines are a testament to Cripe’s philosophy where he finds the balance among climate, soil, varietal, man and nature. It is the essence of the LOLA label.
“I try to encourage and assist the grapes and wines to be a true reflection of what it is from that particular vintage and growing season. It’s all connected, me and my energy alongside the grapes and processes throughout, until it is in the drinker’s glass.”
Today, LOLA, is not only a thriving vineyard, but has expanded into a tasting room and a B&B run by none other than Cripe’s mom, Nancy. “Our property in Calistoga is so great! I’m really proud of it. The thought is to have an old-world wine house as is in the Mosel and parts of France where people can come stay, enjoy the wine country lifestyle, food, as well as be a part of what we do and our philosophy of life and wine at LOLA. And My mom is the perfect hostess.” With three guest suites on the property, a tasting room, and various garden sitting areas for tasting and relaxing, the LOLA experience is about showing the connection between humans and the surrounding natural products. You can also schedule private tastings where a LOLA wine will be paired with specific cheeses from local producers.
It’s Seth Cripe’s dedication to the craft of winemaking and his innate love of wine that finds its way into every bottle. “To me, it’s always the human factor, everybody paying close attention to their part of the job. We are a team, and I am part of the team. We can’t control the weather, or the soil, or a plant infestation of some kind, but we can control how we do our jobs to make good wine.”
Read parts 1 and 3:
Wine aficionado Frank Lutz interviews Venice Beach Vintner Seth Cripe about the Lola Wine Collection. We learn how Seth built his estate in Napa Valley – part 3