Pamplin Media Group – Lolati Wines, new business in Sherwood, offers wine tastings

Their wine tasting room, offering several wine selections, opened just a few weeks ago.

As new wineries spring up in Oregon and Washington State, a Sherwood woman, Leigh Brown, enters the competition by opening Lolati Wines.

The Lolati Wine Tasting Room, which opened just a few weeks ago, is nestled in the rural reaches of Sherwood. Currently, wine tastings are available by appointment only.

The tasting room is located at 34615 SW Bell Road in Sherwood.

Describing why she chose the name Lolati, Brown, who owns the business with her husband, Ron Smith, explained: “My father is South African and is very close to my family in Africa. … My backyard farm -grandfather, in South Africa, was called Lolati, so I just wanted a surname, something more unusual than anyone else had.”

Roughly translated, the word “lolati” means “to and fro” in Sanskrit. According to the winery’s website, that name “playfully defines these lively wines.”

Lolati crafts the wines, which include Grenache Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Primitivo (also known as Zinfandel), and Syrah. The complete list of its wines is available on lolatiwines.com.

“I launched my brand in 2019. Admittedly, I hadn’t really planned what I was going to do yet,” Brown said, noting that the first wine she made was her primitivo. “I just wanted to make different wines.”

Brown, who is originally from Indiana but moved to Sherwood about 13 years ago, continued, “I really wanted to pick grape varieties that aren’t as easy to find in Oregon, so currently I’m buying all my fruit in Washington state…not to say I’ll ever make pinot noir I love pinot noir, but I’m just trying to be different.

Brown’s husband travels to Washington State to pick grapes. Brown makes the wine himself at Gaston.

You will quickly notice that Lolati wines are bottled with colorful labels.

“All of my labels, which are really bright and colorful, are based on fabrics that we use in South Africa, but they’re from Kenya, and they’re called kikoi,” she said. “They are always very shiny, striped and patterned.”

Brown described the wine tasting experience at Lolati.

“We would set up a date, usually for an hour and a half,” Brown said. “It’s $25 to taste, and you can try five to six wines during a tasting. The tasting is waived if you buy two wines or join the wine club.”

While the tasting room is new, its wine club has been around for over a year.

“It’s a small, small club,” Brown said. “I hosted events at other venues and at friends’ homes. I tried to really work on my brand until we decided we should have our own space to help promote the brand.”

Brown keeps a busy schedule these days, filling in his hours as a classically trained harpist.

“I freelance as a musician everywhere, in my free time,” she added. “It keeps me very busy in between.”

Brown sees the Pacific Northwest as a rapidly growing wine region.

“The wine is huge here,” she said. “The Valley is definitely exploding with more vineyards, more wineries or brands. Pinot Noir is arguably the most popular and sought after grape in the state of Oregon. In Washington there is more demand for some of your heavier reds.

Brown hopes to spread the word that his wine tasting room is open for business.

“We’re sort of between Sherwood and Newberg,” she noted. “There’s Old Town Sherwood, where there are a couple of tasting rooms. We really want the community to know about us.”

Speaking of Sherwood, Brown added, “It’s a great community. I love walking my dogs in Sherwood every day.”


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Shirley M. Pinder