LOLA VINEYARDS: Seth Cripe with Chapoutier, Mondavi, and Sur Lucero in Rhone Valley, France – Part 2


Seth with (l-r) Max Chapoutier, Carlo Mondavi, and Sur Lucero at La Chapelle vineyards in the Rhone Valley, France

By Frank Lutz

The LOLA vineyards are located in Napa Valley near the Russian River Valley, and near the town of Calistoga at the north end of Napa 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.”

Indeed, his talent has earned him the support of some great wine houses in Europe, where he has special guest status with such famous vintners as Dujac and the Seysses family in Burgundy, and Chapoutier Hermitage in the Rhone Valley. (See photos above and below.)

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 between 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 collection of vineyards, 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.”  (to be continued in part 3 – the extraordinary taste of LOLA wines)

For more about LOLA wines, visit their website at:;

LOLA is distributed in 30 states throughout the U.S. It is sold in many prestigious and acclaimed restaurants and retail stores. Here are a few retail stores where you can find LOLA Wines in California:

  • 55 Degree Wine
  • All Things Olive
  • California Wine and Cheese
  • Cheese Cave
  • Dan’s Wine Shop
  • Silverlake Wine
  • The Black Cat
  • The Wine Bottega
  • Wine Closet
  • Los Angeles Wine Company
  • Wally’s Wine Warehouse
Contact LOLA Wines at this link to find a store near YOU!

Janice Bremec Blum, editor

Please drink responsibly

Frank Lutz

Photo by Linda Albertano

Wine aficionado Frank Lutz lives in Venice Beach, CA. He was educated in universities in the USA and Europe, in philosophy and European languages. He has travelled the world, and holds a Commercial pilot’s license, as well as instructor’s ratings. Frank has been in the health and nutrition industry since 1980, and has a great appreciation for companies that make natural, unadulterated food and beverage products. Email Frank at

If you missed Part 1 of Seth Cripe’s LOLA wine story, click link below:


Congratulations Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate of the United States

Amanda Gorman handpicked to read a poem at Biden's inauguration - LA Times

You may also like…