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Larkmead Vineyards

Larkmead Vineyards
1100 Larkmead Lane
Calistoga, CAMAP
(707) 942-0167

Larkmead Vineyards is located in the town of Calistoga just north of the St Helena AVA. Owners Kate Solari Baker and Cam Baker are continuing the proud and historic traditions of this winery. Cam is also the manager of operations.

Andy Smith is the winemaker at Larkmead and has been with the winery for 8 years. He also makes the wine for DuMol in the Russian River Valley AVA and was Gemstone’s winemaker from 1999 to 2004.

Lillie Hitchcock Coit was the original owner of Larkmead. In 1851, she was rescued from a blaze in San Francisco by the city’s firemen. From that point on, she had a life long connection with the fire department and became something of a local celebrity.

During the 1870s, Lillie’s parents purchased about 1,000 acres in the Northern Napa Valley. They later gave her a few hundred acres, and Lillie developed some vineyards and a ranch which she named “Larkmead.”

Lillie lived there for many years until she passed away in 1929 at the age of 86. She left $100,000 for the establishment of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill as a tribute to San Francisco firefighters. Larkmead’s Firebelle blend is made in honor of Lillie.

During the 1930s, Felix Salmina and his sons took over the vineyards and began building a stone winery. They were one of the few rays of hope for Napa Valley’s wine industry during the dark years following Prohibition. In 1943, the family sold the property to Bragno & Co. after Felix passed away. Bragno in turn sold to National Distillers.

In 1948, Larry and Polly Solari bought Larkmead from the National Distillers Corporation. Larry was originally from Tuscany and attended UC Berkeley after arriving in the United States with his parents. In addition to running Larkmead with his wife, Larry was also the CEO of United Vintners, a major wine producing co-op at the time. He was also Chairman of the Wine Institute.

Larkmead produces Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, LMV (blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot), 60/40 Red Wine Blend (blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), and Firebelle.

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