Estate (noun): a piece of land or property, in particular: an extensive area of land in the country, with a large elaborate house, owned by one person.
Tucked into the hills between Healdsburg and the Napa spa town of Calistoga, near the vineyards of Alexander Valley, sits an elegant Ranch Estate with a European Soul. Created in the style of an Austrian Countryside Villa, the expansive property encompasses over six hundred acres of woodlands, pastures and year round creeks. This exceptional home enjoys magnificent views over Knight’s Valley toward Napa. Imagine yourself enjoying this private retreat with family and friends or walking the grounds beneath the California sun.
The breathtaking, oak-studded country setting is reminiscent of Early California.
Privacy is assured.
Born in Northern California, the owners’ vision was to blend their love of the magnificent California landscape with the aesthetics of Austrian design and craftsmanship enjoyed in their second home in Vienna, Austria. The owners and architect spent years creating this estate. Beginning with a trip together to the UNESCO villages of the Austrian wine country, they blended these images with the native beauty of California. Materials and methods were not compromised. The result is a Masterpiece of relaxed, elegant living for you.
Rich, complex forms, often with slightly differing architectural styles, blend to form an environment that spans both culture and time. Imagine afternoon tea in a cozy corner decorated in the Moroccan Style followed by a massage on the Japanese Garden deck.
The celebration of art in all its forms can be found and felt throughout this home both inside and out. The owners’ art collection is part of their everyday lives and is enhanced by the elegant spaces. They built their home for their family, for entertaining friends and to surround themselves with the best of California and Europe. A masterful interpretation of two traditions.
This destination home enjoys pastoral views for your enjoyment. The seductive, Mediterranean climate seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor living. Blue skies by day, starry skies by night. A sophisticated Country Lifestyle saturated by the California sun.
At one time a working ranch, this property boasts a spectacular garden with a bountiful harvest enjoyed daily by the owners’ family. Old barns remain with the possibility to raise livestock and grow crops–a true farm to table opportunity. Two wells and mountain springs provide ample water to service the Ranch.
The typical day might begin with breakfast on the terrace followed by a lazy stroll or energetic hike on one of the estate’s many trails. Crossing the water over a suspension bridge, one might take a few moments to watch the wildlife or just soak in the view. Upon return: lunch in the pool house, a swim, exercise in the gym, or catch up on some work in the upstairs office. Late afternoon could involve a glass of wine with friends on one of the many patios. Dinner is served in the intimate dining room, followed by the screening of a film in the home theater. Later, while nestled in the inner courtyard, one might pause to observe the twinkling lights in the night sky.
For thousands of years, Indians lived and thrived on this land. They were followed by the Spanish and Mexicans, and then when California became a state, the Americans. The Alexanders settled their valley, and on the adjacent land, the McDonnells established their ranch in what came to be known as Knight’s Valley. Time passed and the original owner’s granddaughter, Florence McDonnell McCord, and her husband, Charles, continued the ranching tradition. The McCords loved the land and hoped to protect this heritage ranch. Today the ranch is preserved by a conservation easement and the benefits are appreciated while looking across the pastoral valley to the hills beyond. Deer and other wildlife live and roam in their native setting. Restrictions limiting further development run with the land.
Amidst almost total silence, the design goal of the Estate was to prevent mechanical noise, emphasize energy efficiency and utilize the natural California day and night heating and cooling cycle. Twenty-eight groundwater heat exchange wells provide heating and cooling. Electricity is provided by PG&E, with a fully interconnected 35KW solar photovoltaic system with both battery and generator backup. All equipment is located away from the house for both visual and noise isolation. Eighteen-inch thick heavily insulated walls, a large roof overhang and concrete floors maintain a comfortable internal temperature year round.
Numerous recycled and reclaimed materials were utilized in the design; including antique redwood beams from bridges and barns, three-hundred-year-old stone pavers from France, old bricks and roof tiles from Austria and recycled roof tiles from California landmark structures. In addition, a fallen stone barn from a nearby farm was reclaimed and rebuilt. A one-hundred-year-old Redwood log was reclaimed to create the stunning, two-story wine cellar stair, as well as the owner’s office desk and table. The impressive wine cellar was built using vintage stone carvings and bricks by Austrian masons.
The villa’s interior courtyard was modeled after the layout of the Henry Clay Frick house in New York City. Intimate when desired but available for entertaining when needed. Imagine your holiday party centered in the courtyard and flowing into all the accessible rooms.
The estate has all modern equipment conveniences and structure, seismically braced with forty steel bents and a steel framed floor with walls of wood infill. Living zones have radiant heated floors and air conditioning. Electronics are state-of-the-art. Both interior and exterior fire sprinklers protect the home while forty thousand gallons of water storage and connection to the swimming pool are available. The property is served by natural gravity flowing springs, water wells and its own septic system.
Complete peace. Complete intimacy. Sweeping views and vistas as far as the eye can see. The utmost in quality materials and craftsmanship combined with a timeless design that effortlessly blends with the surroundings. Simultaneously experience elegance and comfort in a purely magical setting–a home for a whole family, and a whole life.
Features of individual rooms and spaces are described in the attached room features list.
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