Napa Valley often draws comparisons to the hillsides of Bordeaux or Burgandy. The gentle rolling hills, the endless vines, the ancient oaks stretching out on the horizon…the romance of the French countryside never feels far away in California’s most famous winemaking region. Resting on approximately 54 hilltop acres in Oakville, this distinguished French country estate epitomizes this European dream right down to its stone walls, charming turet and steepled tile roof.
Built and lovingly envisioned by Alan and Janet Stanford, “Notre Jardin,” as it is called, stays true to its name in exquisite form. The Stanfords had spent many holidays in France, and had grown fond of the 17th century country manors dotting the Normandy countryside. They dreamed of bringing that style to their beloved Napa.
In a stroke of inspiration, they engaged Jonathan Plant, renowned landscape architect and diplomate of the Royal Botanical Gardens, to design the property and, most significantly, situate its buildings. He thoughtfully terraced rooms out of the landscape, giving each space its own unique experience of sight, sound and fragrance out of the foliage, stone and flowing water.
The rambling-yet-refined chateau spans 10,811 square feet and features five bedrooms and six full baths — and yet you wouldn’t know it. Interior spaces, which are both grand yet with a sense of intimacy, purposefully frame views, which sweep from the east-facing valley floor to the mountains in an awe-inspiring tapestry of greens, golds and dusty hues. Every room and every architectural detail was either meticulously catalogued or strategically placed by the Stanfords, who collected artifacts during their travels in France. Unmatched authenticity and craftsmanship is woven throughout, bringing you right back to the 17th century.
For instance, an impressive antique French limestone archway beckons entry to the house. In the living room, there is a beautiful antique marble fireplace surround and overmantle the Stanfords discovered in France.
From antique lighting to the dining room paneled in antique French boiserie, the interiors create moments of awe.
And naturally, there is a wine cellar on the lower level that is equally impressive. It boasts a dry-air temperature control system and custom designed racks for 4,200 bottles, and adjoining tasting room that can easily seat a dozen.
The garden rooms of Notre Jardin are another delight of the house. Sunny slopes, meadow-like expanses, shady glades, manicured beds and meandering pathways with benches reminiscent of the classic gardens of old France. Just beyond, there are approximately 1.5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, a pool, tennis court and bocce ball court. And just like the classic country estates of old, there is a guest house and caretaker’s house, plus 5-car indoor parking.
Notre Jardin is a wine country dream, realized by two college sweethearts with great vision and passion. Listed by Cyd Greer of Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley and Laurie Stanford Turner of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Pasadena, this rare and special residence is only now awaiting its next steward…
At $18,000,000, this unmatched home is the ultimate ending to a fairytale dream.