Sean Larkin was born in Inverkeithing Fife, Scotland — perhaps a unique place to start for someone who would end up founding a small, high-quality Napa winery. Upon coming to the United States he worked in the sheet metal trade, but at some point decided it just wasn’t for him. I first met Sean in the 1990s when he was running the wine program at a New Jersey restaurant. While there he fully immersed himself in the world of wine, learning everything he could. He would tell clients, salespeople, family, and friends that one day, he was going to California to make his own wine. And one day, he did. Through contacts he made at the restaurant, Sean was able to study under several top winemakers, helping him get his start.
In 1999 he released his first wine, a Cabernet Franc that was good enough for Robert Parker to give him a favorable mention and a pretty good score (91). It was a gutsy move at the time, as Cabernet Franc had nowhere near the recognition it does today. Even now it’s not the easiest sell compared with wildly-popular Cabernet Sauvignon, but Sean continues on, unfazed. In addition to the tiny quantities of high-quality Cabernet Franc, Sean has also added Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot releases under both the Larkin and Jack Larkin labels — the latter created in 2004 and named for his son.