On a particular gently sloping hillside in the heart of California wine country, a teacher may once have stood in front of a group of teenage boys impressing upon them the need to read poetry, to make their lives extraordinary, and to seize the day. Carved from the campus of the former private Heritage School for Boys, this 48-acre emerald estate certainly continues to encourage anyone who strolls among its greenery to carpe diem. Recently transformed, the property is now a haven of luxurious residences, inviting entertaining spaces, diverting outdoor recreational amenities, and some 6.3 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines that, in the care of one of the area’s most celebrated vintners, produce truly magnificent and collectible wines.
Calistoga, California Sotheby’s International Realty – St. Helena Brokerage
Stylish residential spaces abound here, making the estate ideal for a corporate compound, a personal sanctuary, or health and wellness retreat. The main home–designed by illustrious, influential, and award-winning area architect Howard Backen–offers two bedrooms, two and one-half baths, a stylish cook’s kitchen, an impressive wine cellar, and an elegant great room giving way to covered and open-air patios.
Visitors can be accommodated in consummate contemporary style in the two-bedroom guesthouse–once the home of the school’s headmaster–a delightful Victorian cottage with one bedroom and bath, and the pool house, which includes an additional bedroom suite. Spaces for outdoor relaxation and enjoyment accompany each residence.
Further afield, the property is a veritable resort, boasting a refreshing swimming pool along with tennis, basketball, and bocce courts. Enveloping it all are glorious gardens, thriving fruit trees, stalwart grandfather oaks, and a sparkling spring-fed pond. The location–west of the town Calistoga in the northwest corner of the Napa Valley–allows for the creation of premium Cabernet Sauvignon wines that reveal the intriguing diversity of the land’s terroir.
One of the school’s administration buildings has been thoughtfully remodeled to provide two office spaces for conducting vineyard business, a convenient half bath, and an entertaining area that would be ideal for a gym, a studio, or–more fitting for this locale in the Calistoga American Viticultural Area–a wine tasting room. All else that’s needed to complete this practically poetic venue would be a loaf of bread and the proverbial “thou.”