Along the famed Silverado Trail in California’s Napa Valley, in the Oakville AVA (American Viticultural Area) are sprawling vineyards, tasting rooms pouring 90-point wines—and a glossy, sleek spec home. At first glance, it might seem more at home in the Hollywood Hills or on the Malibu shoreline than in rural wine country, where residents hit the sack early and wake up with the roosters.
Is the L.A. spirit—where luxurious spec homes crop up in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and other tony communities—coming fully intact to Napa?
It seems so. On the market since late August, this 8,200-square-foot spread with six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms took four years to build and is listed for $23 million. Designed by John Maniscalco, this is his first Napa project, although he’s well-known for residential projects in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.
“People are going more toward the modern contemporary style,” says Debbie Menaged, the listing agent with Pacific Union. “The Tuscan villa has been a little too played out in the wine country. People seem to be responding well to the modern design.”
At this property, the outdoors truly comes inside, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass windows and the outdoor dining room, situated in the courtyard. For at-home unwinding, there’s an infinity pool overlooking vineyards and a surround-sound home theater. Up to 2,000 bottles can be stored in the wine cave, carved into the hillside, and eco-minded owners and guests will love the electric car–charging station. (There’s also a solar array, radiant heating, and reverse-osmosis water filtration.) In the master suite is a gorgeous soaking tub and steam shower.
There is no other home like it in Napa Valley, says Menaged. “It’s the estate that has everything. There’s even a helicopter pad. You can fly in your private jet. The organic gardens are patterned after Thomas Keller’s French Laundry.” (The famed eatery with three Michelin stars is just five miles away in Yountville.) Beehives and tennis and bocce courts surround a one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse. “It’s sort of Disneyland there with all of the amenities,” says Menaged.
Napa tends to attract second-, third-, or fourth-home buyers from San Francisco, Menaged says. “We’ve had interest worldwide—somebody from China, Chicago, and also San Francisco.”
For the eventual buyer, one thing is certain: He or she could also launch a career as a vintner. Cabernet sauvignon grapes planted on the property were selected by Thomas Rivers Brown, a well-respected Napa winemaker.
“The Oakville region is where the 100-point Screaming Eagle wines come out of,” says Menaged. “There’s the potential to grow your own grapes and have your own little private label.”
Whether or not you want to make a go of wine-making, the 60-acre property offers one thing you can’t bottle: privacy.
“You’re not going to have another house being built next to you,” says Menaged. “The property is at the end of the road, at the top of the hill. You sit up there above everything.”