After 30 years of growing grapes for other wineries, Ken and Gail Laird established Laird Family Estate in 1999. Located in Napa Valley near the Oak Knoll District, the winery’s beginnings stem from the Laird family’s tradition of farming. Ken Laird is the third generation to carry on this tradition, buying his first Napa Valley parcel in 1970. It was a neglected 70 acres of worn-down prune trees, adjacent to Tubbs Lane in Calistoga. At the time, Napa Valley was on the brink of resurfacing as viticulturally significant and the beauty and lifestyle of Napa Valley convinced Ken to make the decision to embark on developing the deteriorated orchard into a grape vineyard.
Today Laird’s vineyards have grown into the largest vineyard holding in the Napa Valley, with over 2,200 acres spread out over 42 vineyards. Laird’s custom crush operation provides grapes for 62 boutique brands. Laird Family Estate wines are selected from their favorite 3% of estate vineyard sites. Ken’s daughter Rebecca is General Manager and his son Justin manages the vineyards. Paul Hobbs was Laird’s winemaker from their inaugural 1999 vintage until 2015 when Brian Mox (MIT/UC Davis) took over.
Laird seeks to create great estate wines that are a “window to a place”, wines that provide each vineyard a voice to express its individuality. They concentrate on selecting the highest quality grapes from specific single Napa and Sonoma estate vineyards to express each varying microclimate’s individual qualities. Laird Family Estate wines show focused flavor of the individual grapes, all but one of their wins are 100% varietal. They believe “every year there is an intense drive to understand, react to and work with each vineyard to reach its full potential. This process, led by our winemaker and vineyard manager, is crucial for the execution of successful wines”.