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This 80-Acre Northern California Estate Is a Car Collector’s Dream

Villa De Madre has space for over 100 vehicles along with a hoppin' ’50s diner.

For aficionados of fine wines, classic automobiles, and a hard-to-resist deal, the sprawling 80-acre Villa De Madre estate in Suisun Valley, Calif. (about 30 minutes from Napa) checks all the right boxes. Built in 2002 for Willis Johnson, founder and CEO of the salvage auto auction giant Copart, Villa De Madre features a 63-acre vineyard devoted to Cabernet grapes, a 23,000 square-foot main residence, a separate 1,900-square-foot four-bedroom cottage, and its pièce de résistance: two cavernous car barns that can accommodate up to 100 automobiles.

A passionate classic car enthusiast, Johnson built the barns to house his fast-growing collection, decorating the buildings with ’50s Main Street America features like retro store facades and vintage signs. He also equipped the buildings with a gas station, working workshop garage, and fully functional diner complete with a soda fountain.

The spectacular European-style main house comes with six bedrooms (including a 2,000-square-foot master suite), eight bathrooms, an expansive living room featuring 24-foot-high ceilings, an indoor pool, a chef’s kitchen with three ovens and four freezers, and a 250-bottle wine cave. Lavish decorations include hand-painted Venetian-style murals and ceilings, marble fireplaces, and a grand double-winding staircase.

The vineyards, which are currently managed by the nearby Regusci Winery, produce around 150,000 bottles of rich Cabernets a year, while olive trees lining the driveways deliver around 80 gallons of fine olive oil annually. The property also includes a third 24,000-square-foot barn housing vineyard equipment.

Johnson first listed the gated estate in 2010 when he relocated his company headquarters from Fairfield, Calif., to Dallas, Tex. In the move, he snapped up the Nashville-area ranch of country music singer Alan Jackson for $28 million, taking his car collection with him.

Listing agent Bill Doyle of Pacific Union International believes the new price of $12.9 million for the Suisun Valley property represents an exceptional value: “For the passionate car collector who loves wine—or maybe vice versa—this is the perfect residence.”


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