The Larkmead Estate Vineyard


Larkmead Vineyards is situated above the narrowest point of northern Napa Valley’s tilted hourglass shape. The Larkmead estate is comprised of 115 contiguous acres of vineyard, spread across the valley floor, stopping just shy of the two opposing mountain ranges: the Maycamas Mountains and the Vaca Mountains. The vineyard is planted to Bordeaux varieties, and has been completely redeveloped since 1995 with a single exception: a three-quarters of an acre block of ancient vine Tocai Friulano.

A mixture of gravel, clay, and sand interweave across the property, forming a complex mosaic of small, distinct vineyard blocks. Larkmead Vineyards utilizes sustainable and organic farming practices to work with each block on their own terms. The grapes are farmed and vinified separately and then blended into wines that honor the site’s diversity.

“Our farming practice utilizes a ‘systems’ approach, meaning that we treat the vineyard as a single component of the larger surrounding ecosystem.”

- Nabor Camarena, Vineyard Manager

The mornings at Larkmead receive a thin, rolling fog that comes via the north through the Chalk Hill Gap in Knights Valley. Afternoon temperatures tend to be the warmest in valley, and the evenings cool down drastically giving way to extreme diurnal shifts, especially during summer and autumn months.

Vineyard manager Nabor Camerena and consulting viticulturist Kelly Maher masterfully care for the 115-acre vineyard. Their shared passion and philosophy of organic and balanced, regenerative farming have allowed the diverse estate to perform at its highest potential.

Land Stewardship at Larkmead

Land Stewardship

The Solari Baker family has had steadfast and unwavering commitment to land stewardship since they purchased Larkmead Vineyards in 1948. In 2024, Larkmead Vineyards was included in the Slow Wine Guide, the essential guide to eco-friendly wines that honors best practices for the people who work at the winery, sustainability and organic certifications in the vineyards, and the utmost quality of wines produced.

In 2023, after nearly seven years of farming organically and several years of undergoing the rigorous certification process, Larkmead Vineyards received its official California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) status. The CCOF status further adds to the family’s commitment to land stewardship at Larkmead Vineyards. 

“Working towards building biodiversity and beneficial populations allows our grapevines a more varied ecosystem to thrive in, which in turn makes our vines more resilient and our finished wines more complex and complete.” 

- Avery Heelan, Winemaker

Sustainability has been at the forefront of practices since opening the winery doors in 2005. The Solari Baker family has put forth a conscientious approach to both the interior spaces and the external environment—respecting the land, community, and the future of agricultural living in Napa Valley.

The estate received the Napa Green Winery certification in 2011 and the Napa Green Land certification in 2017. In addition, Larkmead sits at the highest GOLD level of Napa Green certification because the vineyards are completely herbicide and neonicotinoid free.

Estate Winegrowing

You don’t often find a contiguous 115-acre vineyard in Napa Valley with so much diversity. From the seven soil profiles to the topography and the presence of both alluvial and colluvial fans, Larkmead Vineyards is a rare site. Over time, the knowledge of the vineyard has deepened, and the winemaking and viticultural teams have come to realize that Larkmead isn’t so much a single site, as it is an assemblage of terroirs that lend to the production of a distinct collection of wines.

The Larkmead estate map as imagined by proprietor and artist Kate Solari Baker, including a collage of historic ledgers and acrylic paints
Cabernet Sauvignon 72.7 acres 66.6%
Sauvignon Blanc 4.6 acres 4.2%
Merlot 6.5 acres 6.0%
Cabernet Franc 13.4 acres 12.3%
Petit Verdot 5.6 acres 5.1%
Malbec 2.2 acres 2.0%
Tocai Friulano 1.1 acres 1.0%

A Block: A Block represents the heart of Larkmead’s wine program and the pinnacle of their Cabernet Sauvignon production. It contains the rarest of the soil profiles (Cortina gravel) and also sits at the highest point on the property. Without question this is a choice parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon and the wines tend to offer a bright, high-toned aromatic profile, bright acidity, and generous tannins. The nose typically displays the signature Larkmead aromas of cassis, menthol, dried herbs, black tea, and cedar with subtle amounts of graphite and licorice.

B Block: B block is home to the Larkmead winery and the place where guests are welcome. Surrounding the winery on three sides, B Block is Merlot dominant with smaller amounts of Sauvignon Blanc. Its loam based soil produces broad and dense wines that maintain vibrant acidity. It is also one of the lowest yielding parts of the site, and therefore produces wines of great intensity and expression, but of limited quantity.

C Block: Across the road and over the river, Larkmead's C block grows six of the seven grape varieties planted on the vineyard. Framed by the river woodland on two sides, this block emits a peaceful air. It features both the most fertile soils and the coolest average temperatures, and the resulting wines tend to display a broad, mouth-filling texture, soft sweet fruit, and elegant tannins. The flagship wine of the C Block is the LMV Salon, which in recent vintages has been the most transparent wine in the portfolio.