Olof Cellars Winery

by | Jan 29, 2023 | Winemakers | 0 comments

OLOF CELLARS,  The Winery Of Romeo And Juliet


Setting The Stage

Through the years, I’ve visited and conversed with winemakers in the Central Coast and North Coast regions of California. Recently, my Babito and I embarked on a week-long journey from Orange County to Lake County to expand our horizons. Even though I knew that there were several enticing wines produced in this region, and the producers were unafraid to let wine lovers experiment, I had no idea of the magnificence this trip would bring to us.

Venturing up to Lake County, you get a true sense of stepping back in time, with houses and landscapes remaining much the same since the days of the Gold Rush. This area has been kept just the way locals like it!

Lake County AVA

Picture from San Francisco Chronicle

History of Lake County AVA

The first Lake County vineyards were planted in the 1870s by noteworthy immigrants such as Seranus C. Hastings, founder of Hastings Law School, and Lillie Langtry, a European and American stage star. By 1900, Lake County wines were winning international prizes, and the region was establishing a reputation for producing world-class wines. There is nothing pleasant to say about Prohibition, which occurred in 1920, as did many wine-producing regions in the state.

The rebirth of Lake County wine began in the 1960s when a few idealistic growers saw the area’s potential to plant new vines on less than 100 acres! Despite the enthusiastic attitude of winemakers who create wines from unusual grapes, Sauvignon Blanc is the most planted varietal.

This large AVA is the driving force behind all of its sub-AVAs for super premium wine grape growing. Lake County is one of the fastest-growing winemaking regions in America, with over 30 wineries and 11,000 acres of vineyards.


An American Viticulture Area, or AVA, is a specific type of appellation of origin used on wine labels. An AVA is a delimited grape-growing region with specific geographic or climatic features that distinguish it from the surrounding regions and, affect how grapes are grown.


Eric and Cindy OLOF

Eric and Cindy OLOF

What’s In A Name, That What We Call Rose, …by Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet- Juliet

Of course, the winery was not named after the sidekick in Disney’s hit film Frozen, Olaf. It is the surname of the owners, Eric and Cindy OLOF. Although Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet originated in the 16th century, this is a 20th-century Romeo and Juliet relationship that began in the 1980s. Ironically, their last name epitomizes the essence of their company name, Olof, which means heirloom in Viking Norse.



Olof Cellars, Lakeport, CA

photo from facebook.com

Where Are Thou- Juliet

Olof Cellars is situated in Lake Port on the expansive undulating hills above Clear Lake, California’s largest natural freshwater lake. Lake Port is located in Lake County, surrounded by the state’s North Central region. Lake Port is a small hamlet surrounded by nature that offers a pleasant way of life. The majority of the residents are retirees. The town has few shopping centers and even fewer nightlife options. Lake Port is a small town with few attractions. In addition, it is well-known for its pears and walnuts.



“What’s In The Name? That Which We Call Rose. By Any Other Name, Would Smell Sweet.” Juliet

Vineyards in the Clear Lake area


There are certainly numerous vineyards worth visiting in the Clear Lake area; however, we chose to limit our options to three. Why you might ask? In my experience, no matter how much time you spend at a winery, you can never truly appreciate or remember the impact the wines had on you. Visit seven, and they will all be less than memorable. A superb wine is made not in an amusement park-style facility with all the frigid bells and whistles, but rather at a no-nonsense winery that will greet you even at its own front door. Thanks to the excellent Cindy Olof, OLOF Winery is everything hospitality should be.

Olof Winery



“Love Is A Smoke, Made With Fumes Of Sighs”- Romeo

Eric and Cindy’s high school relationship began in the late 1980s in Aptos, California. Eric’s family had a lakefront vacation home in Lake port, where he spent his summers. After high school, he worked at the Geysers, and Cindy naturally relocated to be with him due to their mutual adoration. Eric became an insurance broker by trade, but the region inspired his true aim, which was to develop outstanding wine that would set them apart from the competition.


Go Wisely And Slowly. Those Who Rush Stumble And Fall”-  William Shakespeare

Olof Cellars

Olof Cellars


The Olofs had a dream of starting a vineyard, and in 2000, the property Olof Cellars is located on became a reality, serving as both a home and a winery. Eric started making wine as a hobby using fruit from their parcel and leftover fruit from neighbors. Eric’s wine making skills evolved over time, from rustic quality to remarkable wines that drew the attention of locals to industry experts. As a result of Cindy’s keen interest in the wine business, she completed a college course in business and horticulture. As a result, the Olofs bonded toward the end of 2009.



“My Bounty Is As Boundless As The Sea, My Love Is Deep…the More I Give To Thee The More I Have For Both Are Infinite”- Juliet

The climate and soils of the Lake County wine area can support plenty of grapes capable of producing exciting premium wines. Eric and Cindy Olof set out to create uncommon wines and blends such as Nebbiolo and Barbera from Italy, Malbec and Petit Verdot from France, and Lenoir AKA Spanish Black from America. They also create Mead, which is a nod to their Viking heritage. However, it’s very hard to find it, though, because Olof Cellars sells out the Mead, with Wine Club Warrior members.

Not only the grapes, but the blends are also unique. For example, Malbera, a unique blend of Malbec and Barbera, is one of their European rival neighbor-centered blends, but it’s a delicate balancing act, but it works!

“I Must Be Gone And Live, Or Stay And Die” – Romeo

In 2022 Olof Cellars lost Eric, but most tragic was the loss Cindi had to endure to carry on their romantic legacy. The spirit of Eric has been blessed with Cindy employing consulting winemaker Brian Kane. His pedigree isn’t shy nor short with an unprecedented list at Vie Winery, Siduri, Walt Wines, Howell Mountain Vineyards, Orin Swift, Littorai, Patz & Hall; the list is incredibly long. A notable mention that solidifies Olof Cellars is the accomplishment of Cult Wine Status; Eric Olof is the first winemaker to pioneer Cult status wine in Lake County and as one of the top 100 wines in the world!

What Must Be Shall Be- Juliet

Cindi Olof loves making unusual food pairings to go with Olof Cellars’ unusual wines. For a spectacular adventure, participate in one of Olof Cellars’ events to savor all that she has to offer.  Cindy’s desire is to have you feeling like you’re coming home to meet her and other friends for a glass of wine.

For Never Was A Story Of More Woe Than This Of Juliet And Her Romeo-The Prince Of Verona

When visiting Lake County, you’ll be astonished by the value and quality of wines. Compared to Napa Valley where each bottle will set you back at least $80 and generally taste the same across all wineries, Lake County will surprise your palate. No need for fancy dress codes here; since the Gold Rush, the charm of the region has remained intact—a characteristic reflected in the esteemed Olof Cellars.

 Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow- Juliet

Take a visit to Olof Cellars and stay for a while; you won’t be disappointed. Not only will you get to witness the captivating landscape, but you will also be treated to Cindy’s incomparable hospitality. Through their hard work and dedication, the Olofs have built an enduring legacy, solidifying the winery’s place and establishing Lake County’s reputation as an international wine-producing area.

What wine-producing area or winery has had an effect on you recently?


 Ciao! I hope you enjoyed the article about Olof Cellars

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