Beautiful Stags Leap Winery Estate in Napa Valley

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This contemporary Napa Valley, California estate home and vineyard, situated in one of the valley’s most prestigious winegrowing areas, Stags Leap District, was designed by architect Howard Backen of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects, completed in 2000. The owner selected  Backen to design his home based on his proposed design’s fusion of the landscape that sold the owner on the project. A large glass exposure on either side of the living room can be opened up to the outside. The 400 acre property had been purchased by Carl Doumani, 80, in 1970 when he set out to re-establish Stags’ Leap, a historic winery in Napa Valley.

After several years in the business, he sold all but 150 acres of the property to establish a new winery, including a 28-acre vineyard, and built this contemporary 3,051 square foot home with one bedroom, two half baths cantilevered over a 3-acre pond. The vineyard offers about 29 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, the ultimate possibilities for producing rarified wine are intoxicating. The stylish tone of the estate is set by the long, tree-lined alley that leads to the heart of the property. Guests approaching the winery are greeted by the expansive branches of old oaks, a walkway through wild grasses, and the sight of a gold, onion dome topping the winery.

The Stags Leap Winery Estate is listed for sale at $29,950,000, from here.

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The other side of the living space opens to what the owner refers to as ‘the puddle’ — a roughly 3-acre pond that was dug out in the 1970s. Part of the home is cantilevered over the water, which creates the illusion of floating over the pond. The water right outside the home is about 8 feet deep, and 35 feet deep at the deepest point.

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The living, dining and kitchen areas are combined into one large, open space. The large glass pocket doors can be retracted into the walls, or large screens can be used to keep bugs out.

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The home has an East Asian aesthetic, said the architect, Mr. Backen, because the owner is fond of Kyoto.

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You could literally jump into the water right outside the home, Mr. Backen said. The water outside the bathroom is about 6 feet deep, he said. ‘Carl wanted the house to not dominate the little pond,’ Mr. Backen said about his design inspiration.

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The office/library is the only room that has almost no outdoor exposure. The room was designed as ‘a sanctuary for playing cards and shooting bourbon.’ The room features a fireplace and a skylight with a ceiling fan with reverse thrust–designed to suck cigar smoke out of the room. ‘It’s really a man’s cave kind of thing,’ he said.

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There is also a ‘guest boat’ docked behind the home for visitors to use at their leisure. Often times guests will take the 26-foot-long boat, which includes a bedroom, and dock it on the other side of the pond for privacy. The pond is stocked with bluegill bass and can be fished directly from the home.

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The 28-acre vineyard mostly grows Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, among other varieties. The Quixote Winery is run on the property.

Quixote Winery, Napa Valley, CA

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The winery, which was completed in 1998, was first imagined in the late 1980s by the architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who died in 2000. The whimsical building includes large ceramic mosaics and a golden onion dome, which is one of the designer’s signatures.

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Quixote Winery, Napa Valley, CA


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Barrels inside the winery are shown. The owner is selling the property because his children aren’t interested in taking over the business and he’s looking to do something else.

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