Larkmead Vineyards


Viewed from above, Napa Valley resembles a tilted hourglass, with Larkmead situated just above the narrowest point, at the confluence of two alluvial fans. The estate’s 115 contiguous acres of vines spread across the valley floor, stopping just shy of the two opposing mountain ranges. The vineyard is dedicated 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. Beneath these noble vines, gravel, clay, and sand interweave across the property, forming a complex mosaic of small, distinct vineyard blocks. Modern winemaking and organic growing practices regard each block on their own terms—they 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 Chalk Hill Gap in Knights Valley. Afternoon temperatures tend to be the warmest in valley, and the evenings cool down drastically, making for extreme diurnal shifts, especially during summer and autumn months.

The vineyard parcels total 115 acres and are under the masterful care of vineyard manager Nabor Camerena and consulting viticulturist Kelly Maher. Their shared passion and philosophy of balanced, holistic farming have allowed the diverse estate to perform at its highest potential.

Boot next to young grapevine and irrigation drip lines


Sustainability is an important practice at Larkmead. Since opening the winery doors in 2005, there has been a conscientious approach to both the interior spaces and the external environment. It is paramount for Larkmead not only to respect the land and the community, but also the future.

“Larkmead is fortunate to have one of the most diverse soil profiles in all of Napa Valley. As caretakers of this historic vineyard site it is in our best interest to approach our farming practices with an emphasis on soil health in order to extract the true expression of each area of the estate.”

- Kelly Maher, Vineyard Consultant

These efforts and more were commended when the Napa Valley Department of Environmental Management and the Association of Bay Area Government's Green Business program dubbed Larkmead a "Napa Green Certified Winery” in 2011; in 2017, the vineyard received “Napa Green Land” certification.  The vineyard has been farmed organically for over a decade and will be awarded its California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certification in 2023.

Estate Winegrowing

You don’t often find a contiguous 110-acre vineyard in Napa Valley with so much diversity. From the seven soil profiles to the topography and the presence of colluvial fans, Larkmead 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 multiple terroirs that each lend to the production of a distinct wine.

“Positioned in the narrowest part of the valley, our soils and terroir are heavily influenced by the junction of the Mayacamas and the Vaca Range and the intersection from the Napa River. The convergence of these colluvial and alluvial fans provides an incredible amount of diversity that allows us the ability to make wines as nuanced and complex as the land they are sourced from.”

- Avery Heelan, Winemaker

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, "hillside" aromatic profile, bright acidity, and cutting 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.