Like most people, Seth dreamed of making wine somewhere great – so he wrote to Chuck Wagner at Caymus thinking there would be no way that he’d ever land a job working for one of his idols. Surprisingly enough, the Wagners accepted Cripe to the team, where he closely learned from one of Napa’s all-time greats firsthand.
When he first got there, Cripe wanted to spend a year or two working at Caymus before leaving to start his own thing – but what he quickly realized was that there was a lot to learn from these winemaking legends and that Chuck would become like a father to him. So for eight years, Cripe was essentially the ‘third Wagner brother’. Chuck even sent him to Burgundy each winter to teach him about high-density planting and cellar practices – where the French lead the pack.
Eventually – Seth would take his first class education and hang up a shingle of his own with LOLA – a winery that was built for the purpose of making reasonably priced, fun and unpretentious wines. He started in 2008 when premium wines were king – but after the financial crisis, LOLA wines began to move… and move fast.
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