The land that makes up Larson Family Winery, has been in the family since 1899. Five generations have worked the land from dairy cattle, polo ponies and rodeo stock, to what is now vineyards and wine. It was in 1977 that Tom Larson and his father planted their first vines to make home wines. That 40 acre block of Chardonnay gradually led the family far beyond home winemaking and “When we made more wine than we could drink ourselves, we got serious,” said Tom. Larson now produces approximately 5,000 cases of estate wines annually consisting of over 10 different varietals. The wine is sold exclusively from the tasting room and wine clubs.
The heart of the Carneros region, we are known for our award winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. We also produce a dozen of other varietals including our famous Three Lab Cab, Sparkling wines, red blends, and more.
A brief history:
The land on which Larson Family Winery now sits, was once the Embarcadero, the farthest navigable point up Sonoma Creek from the San Francisco Bay, and the bustling gateway to Sonoma Valley. Where the grapes now ripen, small craft landed European visitors as early as 1823. Passengers and freight bound for Sonoma transferred here from sloops and schooners to horse and ox-drawn carriages and wagons for the ride to the Plaza.
Beginning in 1847, steamboats docked here and turned around for the voyage back to San Francisco. It was a steamboat captain named Stoffen, who built the Civil War-era farmhouse now a vacation rental and known as A Captain’s House. Tom Larson’s great grandfather, Michael Millerick, bought the house and 120 acres of land in 1899. He raised primarily dairy cattle.
From 1929 to the early 1950's, the Sonoma Rodeo was held on the Millerick Ranch. The largest and longest-running rodeo in the Bay Area, it was the event of the year in Sonoma. Up to 8,000 people filled the stands, and thousands dined on beef roasted in underground pits. Each year the rodeo began with a "trail drive" -- down the highway and into the arena came a string of 50 bucking horses, all carrying the Millerick's famous Circle M brand. World champion and hall of fame cowboys competed, but the locals held their own; one year vintner August Sebastiani won a roping trophy.
In 1977 Tom and his father Bob, planted the first Chardonnay vines to make home wine and gradually the 40 acres of grapes produced more wine than they could drink – hence the slogan, “We drink what we can, and sell the rest!” In 1988 Tom earned his degree in fermentation science from the University of California at Davis and the winery was founded that same year.
From cowboys and rodeos, to vineyards and wine, our mission is: “To make great memories.”