At Hurley’s restaurant, we ordered a bottle of Laird Estate Pinot Grigio. It was a delightful wine. That piqued our interest and the very next day we visited the Laird Family Estate Winery. The winery is located very close to downtown Napa on Solano Avenue, the road that runs parallel to Highway 29.
Before our visit to the Laird Estate winery, we never heard the name Ken Laird. We thought we knew a lot about the Napa Valley but there is always something new to learn. Back in 1970 Ken Laird bought his first vineyard near Calistoga. Today, the Laird Family owns more Napa vineyard acres than anyone. The family business owns over 2000 acres scattered throughout the Napa Valley. They sell grapes to some of the biggest names in the Napa Valley wine industry. Just around the year 2000 Ken Laird started making his own wine in a new phenomenal wine making facility. Not only does he make his own wine here, but some 50 wineries also custom crush their wines here. In this amazingly vast facility, the Laird Family produces about 4500 cases of wine per year. As you can guess, only a small fraction of their vineyards are used to make their estate wines.
The winery is well hidden from the road but once you drive up the driveway, the pyramid style architecture is very dramatic. The tasting room is very nicely set up with a terrific view of the vineyards. There is an attractive picnic area outside the tasting for visitors to enjoy. As far as the wines, we enjoyed everyone one of the six wines we tasted. We tasted two wonderful Cabernet wines. Ordinarily, the tasting fee is $10 but our server waived the tasting fee. We were the only ones in the tasting room and we think he was just happy to have someone to talk to. He was very gracious and accommodating. He was also very informative about the workings of the winery and obviously very proud of the Laird Estate wines.
The Good: Friendly and cordial tasting room host. Very good wines.
The Bad: Could not afford the absolutely delicious 2001 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon for $70