Luxury Outlook 2023
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
Bringing to mind a string of pearls strewn across a 40-acre knoll, this singular wine country estate comprises three serene pavilions linked by breezeways and loggias. Five years in the planning, it is the creation of illustrious designer Rela Gleason working in strong collaboration with architects John Sease and Bobby McAlpine. A once-in-a-lifetime property, it speaks an architectural language never before spoken.
Calistoga, California | Arthur Goodrich, Sotheby’s International Realty – St. Helena Brokerage
Inspired by the country homes and farmhouses of Edwin Lutyens and infused with a fairytale quality and an Old World romanticism, the truly timeless buildings were designed with reference to their setting and oriented to maximize the pastoral views. Every structure is topped with strongly pitched rooflines that echo the surrounding hills and swathed in an organic palette that blends with the landscape. Each of the abundant windows directs the eye toward natural beauty.
The interiors were conceived with symmetry, perspective, and other formal values of ancient Roman and Greek architecture in mind, yet they remain graciously informal, easygoing yet stylish. Throughout, elegance and practicality go hand in hand: this is a refined country house, where frolicking pets and residents in well-worn vineyard clothes and dusty work boots exist alongside rare antiques and painstakingly chosen fixtures, finishes, and details. The classic design notwithstanding, the home is thoroughly modern, with all-new amenities and systems.
The estate’s unique configuration allows it to function as well for two people as it does for 20, feeling comfortable and intimate when occupied by a pair but providing ample privacy for larger groups. The primary pavilion features a living and dining salon with a lofty weathered-cedar ceiling and walls of glass; a library paneled in red cedar; a chic master suite with its own stone-walled garden and outdoor shower; a cook’s kitchen with three islands, a breakfast bar, and superior appliances; and an adjoining family room with a stone fireplace. One of the ancillary pavilions offers an office or studio with a bath, a media room, a wine cellar, and a garage. Another includes its own garage topped by a two-bedroom visitors’ suite. Further afield are two new guest cottages with a modern barn aesthetic.
The home was also designed for a quintessential indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The pavilions are centered around courtyards, creating a feeling of coziness and security. In addition to these relaxing spaces, the alfresco areas include a sheltered terrace, a dining loggia with a picturesque view, glorious rose and vegetable gardens, fruit trees, a greenhouse, a chicken coop, and an infinity-edge pool. Plans have been drawn for a poolside guest “barn,” and the generous 40 acres offer the possibility for the creation of a winery, a wine cave, a horse barn with paddocks, and tennis or volleyball courts.
Located in the prettiest part of the valley, the estate is one minute from the scenic Silverado Trail, five minutes from Calistoga, and seven minutes from St. Helena. On its enviable perch, it gazes out toward rolling green hills, Castello di Amorosa, and Sterling Vineyards. Adjoining the property is a 3,500-acre land trust that affords consummate privacy and an unspoiled outlook—with no other homes in view—that will continue in perpetuity.