Napa's new investor of note

Carlton McCoy MS

An Arkansas agri-billionaire's reach in Napa Valley has been growing fast.

When properties trade monthly for double-digit millions, it takes a lot of money to raise eyebrows in a place like Napa Valley, and even more to make serious waves. But that’s just what an Arkansas billionaire has done in the last few years, emerging seemingly from nowhere to become one of the most powerful personalities shaping the future of the Napa Valley.

When Gaylon M Lawrence Jr purchased Heitz Cellars in 2018, the transaction seemed a garden-variety Napa acquisition: yet another expensive Napa estate purchase, albeit of an estate...