When it comes to connoisseurs of fine wine, there are staunch, Old World traditionalists and those who champion the allure and innovation of the new. Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, northern California, deep in Wine Country, Whitehall Estate, on the market with Christie’s International Real Estate, is a glorious celebration of all things new.
A stunning example of contemporary design by Bay Area architect Lewis Butler, built over five years, it offers sleek lines, exquisite craftsmanship, utter privacy, and seamless indoor–outdoor living. Sliding glass walls imbue the interiors with golden California sunshine and captivating, all-encompassing vistas over the estate’s 14 acres (5.6 ha) of vineyards and beyond to vine-clad slopes, knolls, and the Mayacamas Mountains.
The stone exteriors are pared back and in tune with the local landscape. And the interiors are open-plan and welcoming, with rich neutral tones reflecting the natural surroundings. Step outside and the sun-drenched terraces, infinity-edge pool, pavilion, and grounds invite you to savor the temperate climate and linger over enchanting views as the sun’s trajectory casts shifting shadows through endless rows of vines.
The experience of this property is one of truly living with the vines. There is no place on the estate where you aren’t immersed in them
“Everyone in California talks about indoor–outdoor living but I’ve never seen a home that encapsulates the ethos more graciously than this one,” says Zackary Wright, Executive Director for Asia Pacific and Western North America at Christie’s International Real Estate. “Whereas in other Napa Valley estates you may get certain vantage points for appreciating beautiful views, the experience of this property is one of truly living with the vines. There is no place on the estate where you aren’t immersed in them.”
Like a distinctive glass of Rutherford Bench Cabernet Sauvignon, the estate unfolds with confident, compelling character. The four-bedroom main residence opens with the embodiment of the architect’s vision of a “modern vineyard masterpiece”: a suspended wine cellar, encased in glass, that provides a view through to the estate’s vines. It’s the spirit and beauty of Napa Valley, from grapes to glass. As befits a home here, where life is all about gourmet food and wine, the residence centers on the expertly crafted kitchen, featuring French walnut cabinetry so perfectly matched that it appears honed from a single piece of wood.
The adjoining family room flows through to the more formal dining and living area, where 15-foot-high (4.5 m) ceilings maximize the sweeping views. “This would make a spectacular home for entertaining,” says Wright. “You could easily host a couple of hundred guests. It’s been designed with the highest level of easy living in mind.” Sharing similar vistas, the master suite includes an office/yoga room as well as a see-through fireplace that looks onto the gardens. A junior master suite, two further bedrooms and baths, and a large game and media room complete the indoor family spaces.
This would make a spectacular home for entertaining. You could easily host a couple of hundred guests
Covered and uncovered terraces wrap around most of the residence, connecting the inside and outside areas, while the open-air kitchen and dining terrace, overlooking the pool and spa, invite alfresco entertaining. A separate wellness pavilion of 776 square feet (72 sq m) is a flexible space with kitchenette and bath that could alternatively be used as an unparalleled private home office. Further leisure amenities in the grounds include a sports court and putting green.
In addition, a luxurious, self-contained three-bedroom guesthouse is ideal for staff, benefiting from private access from the road, as well as its own lap pool. “It would make a wonderful home in itself,” says Wright. “The hallway alone is spectacular, with an eye-level window running down its entire length, providing a panoramic view of the hills outside.”