The Grape Escape

With harvest season around the corner, there’s no better time to purchase a vineyard property. From a legacy architectural ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains to a farmhouse compound in Napa to an elegant Woodside estate, we present our top picks for vineyard lifestyle properties currently for sale.

By: Kevin Daniel Dwyer

woodside california

vineyard estate

Residents of Woodside value secluded outdoor living while enjoying a strong sense of community. Separated from the ocean by the Santa Cruz Mountains, towering redwoods dominate its western hills, with oaks and eucalyptus in the lower areas. Residents appreciate its privacy, access to nature, large parcels of land and diverse architecture. A perfect embodiment of these quintessential Woodside attributes is currently on the market—an extraordinary vineyard estate listed for $34,600,000.

Located on approximately 6.4 acres, the vineyard estate is situated in Woodside’s central neighborhood, the most exclusive part of town with large, sunny and very private properties. The enclave is close to town and within the Woodside Elementary School District. Horse owners enjoy the network of trails that runs through the area.

The contemporary, approximately 6,000 sq. ft. main home is an architectural masterpiece featuring grand entertaining and living spaces, vaulted ceilings with exposed beam design and seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces. In addition to the main house, there is a two bedroom guest house and a two room entertainment pavilion with spa facilities and wine room. Originally built in 2009, the estate underwent an extensive remodel in 2011, refashioning the kitchen and adding an additional three-car garage and gym. The current owners have since performed a substantial remodel and recent upgrades to the property. 

No detail or expense has been spared on the property, especially when it comes to technology and efficiency. Outstanding features include: new HVAC with completely silent VRF system throughout the property and a heat recycler (LEED Platinum); upgraded A/V system with whole-house music, television, movie server, Crestron and 4K video distribution over fiber to all buildings; an MDF server room, fully automated with multi-touch screens flush mounted; and an upgraded security system (Elk M1, 5 building total coverage) with keyless entry/access control and electric locks on all buildings.

The grounds are extensive, level and present the stage for California living at its finest:  there is a clay tennis court, serene pool area, sport court and, our favorite, the vineyard with grafted aged vines. Perfect for a growing family, a three-tree treehouse awaits smaller guests and puts a finishing touch on this property that can only be described as magical. G


Michael Dreyfus | The Dreyfus Group

Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

650.485.3476 | Lic.# 01121795

santa cruz mountains california

bates ranch vineyard

At the foot of Mount Madonna in the Santa Cruz mountains, off the historic stagecoach trail on Redwood Retreat Road, lies the bucolic 932± acre Bates Ranch—a stunning retreat with complete peace and privacy. The ranch has approximately 22 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Grenache vineyards producing award-winning, limited-release quantities of cabernet sauvignon wine, and has sold its wine grapes to renowned winemakers throughout California, including Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Fernwood Cellars, and Byington Vineyard and Winery, among others.  

The main home at Bates Ranch is noted for its 1930s William Wurster design. Wurster was one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most celebrated and prolific architects and intellectuals on the subject, having served as UC Berkeley’s Dean of Architecture and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture. The four bedroom, four and one-half bathroom main house presents an opportunity to own a piece of architectural history. 

Additional residential structures on the property comprise three dwellings; a guest house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, a three bedroom, two bathroom caretaker house and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom foreman house. There is also an oversized swimming pool and tennis court, completing the property’s allure as an ideal weekend retreat, summer place, or full-time ranch with abundant springs to ensure a verdant landscape.

A spring-fed lake offers a haven for water fowl and opportunities for canoeing and fishing, while scenic Little Arthur Creek flows at the edge of the property. There are also trails for hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking. As a Williamson Act property, Bates Ranch supports a 30+ pair cattle operation with barns, corrals and stables. Farm to table opportunities abound in the agricultural plots dotting the property. Truly a one of a kind property that has been in the stewardship of the same family for over sixty years. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a classically-timeless California estate, just 40 minutes’ drive from Palo Alto. G


Michael Dreyfus | The Dreyfus Group

Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

650.485.3476 | Lic.# 01121795

napa valley california


Located on the eastern side of Napa in the Coombsville AVA beneath the Vaca Mountains, this sprawling compound is a rare retreat. Just minutes from downtown Napa, it is also perfectly positioned close enough for meals in the culinary haven of Yountville, while still just an hour from San Francisco. The contemporary farmhouse is graciously sited on approximately 6.73 level acres with panoramic mountain views. Fenced with a white split rail, the expansive grounds feature a picturesque pond lined with willows, multiple open lawns, and plenty of space and opportunity for equestrian facilities or a gentleman’s vineyard. 

Approached through a gated, extensive drive leading to a circular motor court, the home’s grand entrance makes a welcoming statement with enclosed stone wall courtyard and double entry doors leading to a light-filled foyer. Upon entering, there is a large formal, open-plan living and dining area with a central concrete fireplace, stepped ceilings reaching heights of 14 feet, and picturesque windows and French doors framing the view to the backyard and central swimming pool. An immaculate kitchen is a chef’s paradise, with top of the line appliances, a large central island, butler’s pantry and a large breakfast room bay window. Down the hall, there is a home office, a family room and a master bedroom suite with a spa-worthy bathroom, complete with soaking tub, walk-in shower and stone finishes throughout. 

The pool house features a large central living area with kitchenette and wine storage, and a trellised al fresco dining area with full outdoor kitchen—an epic backdrop for year-round gatherings and entertaining. There’s a two bedroom guest house just across the lawn.  Additional property highlights include a separate exercise studio with direct view of the pond, a bocce ball court, four-car garage, large car barn, an established vegetable garden and green house. G


Jill Levy

Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

707.479.9612 | Lic.# 01230055