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A Trio of Wine Estates for Budding Vintners

From Napa Valley to the Uco Valley, these estates prove that some things get better with time.

Photo Credit: Jeff Elson

Calling all oenophiles: If you want to do more than just sample wines from unusual regions and figure out the perfect pairing for a steak dinner, turn your passion into a profession by purchasing a wine estate. From Napa Valley to the Uco Valley, the following estates come with vineyards, tasting rooms, and cellars—the essential must-haves for any wine lover.

Napa Valley, California

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.

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. The grounds also include a helipad, koi ponds, olive groves, a guest house, and a gazebo. Aaron Kirman and Neyshia Go of John Aaroe Group hold the listing for the house, which is currently on the market for just over $33 million. We’ll toast to that!

Napa Valley Estate  Photo by Matthew Momberger

Uco Valley, Argentina

Wine experts often refer to Argentina’s Uco Valley as the Napa Valley of 30 years ago. The region receives around 300 days of sun per year, creating an arid environment that is well-suited for grape growing. Brimming with potential yet less commercial than Napa Valley, the emerging wine capital attracts oenophiles from across the globe.

Budding vintners can purchase a plot at Casa de Uco, a wine resort and vineyard nestled at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, and try their hand at growing and producing their own wine. Last year, the property launched sales for 80 vineyard parcels, which are available in half-acre to 7.5-acre plots and priced from $45,000. Owners can choose the soil, decide which type of grapes to grow (options include Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio), age the wine in customized oak barrels, and create bespoke names and labels. A team of experts led by oenologist Alberto Antonini will handle the harvesting, fermenting, and bottling processes.

Those who want to oversee the process from grape to glass can purchase a two- to three-bedroom villa (from $500,000) and live onsite year-round. Vineyard and villa owners will have access to resort activities such as horseback riding, vineyard stargazing, and bicycling. Vineyard owners will also receive an annual consultation meeting with wine experts, a complimentary resort membership, and discounted hotel and dining rates.

Casa de Uco in the Uco Valley, Argentina

Casa de Uco in the Uco Valley, Argentina  Photo Credit: Courtesy

Malibu, California

Malibu’s stunning coastline serves as the picturesque backdrop for L’Admirable Malibu, a nearly five-acre vineyard that overlooks Point Dume and Zuma Beach. Winemaker Béatrice Cointreau, who has produced wine under the Admirable Family Vineyards label for the past several years, is selling the scenic estate for $12.5 million before she heads to Europe to work on a French Champagne.

Upon entering the property, a gated driveway leads to a circular motor court surrounded by verdant centennial vines, setting the stage for what is sure to be a dream come true for wine connoisseurs. The hillside vineyard features more than 3,000 vines with Viognier, Cabernet, and Syrah varietals. An additional lot is permitted for a greenhouse.

Spread across 6,635 square feet, the Mediterranean-style home features vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and exposed wood beams. Equipped with five bedrooms, six baths, a media room, and several large, open-concept spaces, the home was designed for entertaining. Fittingly, the abode also includes a sizable wine cellar with a gathering room that can be transformed into a tasting room or media room as desired.

Outside, a swimming pool overlooks the vineyard, and Malibu’s main attraction—the endless, brilliant blue ocean—beckons from just beyond. Shauna Walters, Meredith Schlosser, and Sally Forster Jones of John Aaroe Group hold the listing.

L’Admirable Malibu Vineyard Estate

L’Admirable Malibu Vineyard Estate  Photo: Jeff Elson

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