Greg La Follette


Greg La Follette - winemaker - Ancient OakWith degrees in Plant Biology, Chemistry, and Food Science, research and experimentation have always been at the heart of Greg’s winemaking.  His early experiences include time as the research viticulturalist and enologist at Beaulieu Vineyards with the “godfather” of California winemaking, André Tchelistcheff.  Greg is known for his thoughtful winemaking technique, focus on vineyard practices, mentoring of many rising stars in the industry, down-home personality, and – always – devotion to family.

In 1996, Greg became the general manager and founding winemaker of Flowers Vineyard and Winery, continuing and extending his focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, with an emphasis on sur lies aging and battonage, returning to topics that he had studied years before at UC Davis.

In 2001, Greg founded Tandem, which in 2009 was renamed La Follette, where he continued his investigation of single-vineyard wines from the Russian River.  Throughout his career, Greg has worked with many of Sonoma County – and the world’s – best grapegrowers, which is one of his greatest joys.

Now that Greg’s obligations with the wine label La Follette are discharged, Greg has entered into a full partnership in Ancient Oak Cellars, after having made several vintages of wines with Ancient Oak Cellars.

Greg says, “Before I started working with Melissa and Ken, I’d been watching them for several years and had admired not only their wines but their work and family ethics.  Melissa and Ken are living the dream that I strive to live: a family winery, raising one’s kids in one’s own vineyard, and celebrating life with wonderful long-time friends and family.  Everything about Ancient Oak is what I aspire to in my own life.  I am thrilled to be making wine in partnership with Melissa and Ken.  There is nothing like small family winery stewardship to bring great wines to the table.”