- In 1874 Jean Laurent, an immigrant from Bordeaux, France, started his Laurent Winery on the current site of Markham Vineyards. Laurent's first winery was an insignificant wooden structure, which he replaced with a 6000 square foot stone winery in 1879 to meet the demands of his growing winery production. Laurent was one of the top-ten wine producers in Napa County. In 1890, Laurent died at the young age of 53 and over the next 87 years the Laurent winery changed ownership many times. Bruce Markham arrived in the Napa Valley almost 100 years after Laurent, also looking to start a winery. Markham bought the Yountville vineyard in 1975, the Calistoga vineyard in 1976, the old Laurent Winery in 1977 and the Oak Knoll vineyard in 1978. With almost 225 planted acres and a winery, Bruce Markham founded Markham Vineyards in 1978 and the old Laurent Winery was reborn.
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