For years, French wines were regarded as the crème de la crème—a nectar of the gods that could not possibly be matched by vintages from other regions. That all changed in 1976, when a Chardonnay from Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena winery was awarded top honors during a blind tasting with a panel of France’s top tasters. The Judgment of Paris, as it came to be known, put California wines on the map and made Napa Valley a premier destination for wine lovers across the globe.
Oenophiles wanting to try their hand at winemaking will be delighted with 2900 Spring Mountain Road, a Napa Valley estate near St. Helena. Set on 42.5 acres, the property includes a seven-acre vineyard that is home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot varietals. After being harvested, the grapes are transported off-site for wine production, where they are made into Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet blend wines. Each of the wines consistently score between 90 and 96 points on Robert Parker’s scale, a testament to the quality of the grapes. A cellar wine collection valued at $7.2 million is included as part of the purchase, giving future owners the chance to try wines made from varietals grown on the grounds.
Built in 1998, the 9,600-square-foot home features seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. Showcasing regal statues, a circular motor court, and a tile roof, the Italianate abode exudes old-world charm. Inside, tall ceilings, travertine floors, and sweeping staircases converge to create a mansion that is both elegant and inviting.
Outfitted with Miele and Sub-Zero appliances, the lavish kitchen is ideal for blossoming chefs. A grand two-story dining room with a full bar seats 30 guests, making it the go-to place for elegant dinners. A stone fireplace serves as the centerpiece of the stately living room, and French doors open to reveal the hilly, verdant countryside. A music room and state-of-the-art gym round out the indoor amenities.
The backyard—which includes a three-tiered fountain, an outdoor fireplace, a swimming pool, manicured shrubs, and stone planters—offers sweeping vistas of tree-dotted mountains and winding roads. An outdoor kitchen is furnished with a bar, pizza oven, and barbecue. A greenhouse and vegetable garden provide plenty of possibilities for anyone with a green thumb. The grounds also include a helipad, koi ponds, olive groves, a guest house, and a gazebo. The home is currently on the market for just over $33 million. We’ll toast to that! (Inquiries: John Aaroe Group. Aaron Kirman, 424.249.7162; Neyshia Go, 424.249.7125.) (aaroe.com)