The Stanford Estate and Gardens
French-Style Country Manor Estate in Oakville, California:
For Sale at $18,000,000
With 54 hilltop acres available, Alan and Janet Stanford engaged renowned landscape architect Jonathan Plant to design the property and situate its buildings. He chose five of the 54 acres and with foliage and stone and flowing water, he terraced what he called ‘rooms’ out of the landscape. Anchoring them are the beautiful structures of ‘Notre Jardin’ (Our Garden).
Over the years, traveling to France, the Stanfords had grown fond of the country manoirs of the 17th century, which dot the Normandy countryside. They brought that style to a house of their own in their beloved Napa.
Driving along the drive, up through the vineyard toward the main residence of Notre Jardin, you see that much more than a house has been created. The melding of foliage, stone walls, tiled roofs, flower beds, undulating pathways and dramatic viewpoints have created a comfy nest in Napa.
The five buildings of Notre Jardin have steep tile roofs, thick stone and stucco walls, large rooms and open beamed ceilings, evoking French country manoirs.
The entrance is an antique French limestone archway into an entry hall with open beam ceiling and pillowed French limestone floor.
All main rooms have a sweeping view of the Napa Valley.
The Living room with its ornate antique marble fireplace surround and overmantle imported from France and oak parquet floors, is light and airy because of full height windows and high ceiling with open beams.
All the antique light fittings in this room and the others, was brought from France by the Stanfords.
The French doors open out onto a wide, Pennsylvania blue stone terrace with wrought iron railing that spans most of the house to provide sitting areas all around, including one with fireplace and enchanting French antique limestone bas-relief.
Under the terrace, water trickles down a long, stone stairway, passing waves of grasses and crab apple trees on the way to a reflecting pool. Beyond the formal garden are native red barked madrone trees, spreading oaks and stately firs.
The dining room is paneled in antique French boiserie and has a distressed oak Versailles parquet floor.
The spacious, lofty kitchen has open beam ceiling and counter-to-ceiling windows to make it light and airy. Your Chef de Cuisine will be able to handle the most demanding entertaining.
The maple-topped island has a utility sink, under-counter microwave and wine keeper. Separate freezer and refrigerator flank a generous pantry and the La Cornue range has gas and electric burners as well as gas and electric ovens.
There is a butler’s pantry with wet bar. A magnificent limestone cornice over the cooking area and a raised, wood-burning fireplace are the elegant final touches.
The library walls are antique French boiserie with custom bookshelves. A dry bar and flat screen TV are concealed in the boiserie.
The Master Retreat is past the library.
The mini rotunda leads to the master bedroom and His and Her bathrooms, each with soaking tub and step-less shower.
There is a bay window with window seat and a fireplace with antique marble surround.
A French door leads out to the secluded stone patio.
1st Guest Suite
From the entry hall, a French limestone spiral staircase leads up to a guest suite with magnificent valley views. The limestone stairs were made in France and installed in the house.
It has a raised, open beam ceiling, a full bath and two sitting areas.
The bedroom is completely lined with French fabric; a bit over-the-top; methinks! 🙂
There is also an office upstairs with its own bath and, adjoining that, a cozy, bookshelf-lined sitting room with one side overlooking the living room.
If you don’t want to hike up stairs, an elevator connects all three floors.
The wine cellar on the lower level has a dry-air temperature control system and racks for 4,200 bottles. That’s about two years worth of yield from Notre Jardin’s acre-and-a-half vineyard.
The adjoining tasting room can seat a dozen people. It opens onto the lower terrace to enjoy the view, the air or the stars.
The media room or second office is down the hall from the wine cellar. The whole-house audio-visual system was updated in 2015 and the sound system throughout the main house can be controlled from an iPhone or iPad.
2nd Guest Suite
The second downstairs guest suite features many built-ins, comfortable sitting areas and a full bath. French doors open onto the lower terrace and can serve as a private entrance.
As the garden “rooms” of Notre Jardin were designed before the buildings, they provide the full panoply of contrast and transition; sunny slopes, meadow-like dells, shady glades, manicured beds and contemplative paths.
One such path leads to a wisteria laden wooden arbor and entrance to the swimming pool.
Nearby is the tennis court next to a terraced rose garden.
A short stroll away is an international-sized bocce court. Yes – I had to do a GOOGLE search to find out what ‘bocce’ is. To save you time, I can tell you it’s like Boules or Pétards.
The guest house is tucked into the hillside. With a steep roof and conical tower, it looks like a fairytale cottage out of Disneyland. The two-story, distressed beam ceiling, encloses a living room and dining area to look out over the same expansive views as the main house.
The two bedrooms each have their own bath and dressing room.
Second story windows allow light to stream in and a wood-burning fireplace warms the evenings.
French doors open to a private stone terrace.
The full kitchen includes a dishwasher, and there is also a washer and dryer.
There is a one-bedroom caretaker’s home and a 1.5 acre vineyard planted to premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
A World Away
Notre Jardin could feel like it’s a world away but it is also conveniently located. Famous restaurants like The French Laundry and Bistro Jeanty are only a few minutes drive; San Francisco is less than 90 minutes away.
Notre Jardin: The keywords are luxury, relaxation and refined Napa Valley living.
Listed at $18M, in this market, you could try a punt at $15M and see what happens…..
3 Parcels totaling 54 acres
•027-340-064-000: 13.09 acres
•027-340-062-000: 35.78 acres
•027-280-042-000: 6.3 acres
Approximate 1,000 ft elevation
2.2 Miles from Highway 29
Panoramic Napa Valley and mountain views
1.5 Acres Cabernet Sauvignon
Five-year average yield: 2.8 tons
Farmed by Saviez Vineyard Management
Previously bottled under Vieille Chaussettes
Grapes currently sold at $5,000/ton
Additional plantable acreage
9,686 sq ft Main Residence (Built 2001)
- 3 bedroom / 4 Full Bath / 3 Toilets
- Formal living, dining, library
- First floor master suite
- Chef’s kitchen
- Two offices
- 6 Wood burning fireplaces
- 350 case wine cellar with tasting room
- 3 Floor elevator
- Two laundry rooms
1,125 sq ft Guest House (Built 1999)
- Open living and dining room
- Wood burning fireplace
- Full kitchen and laundry
- 2 Bedroom suites
- Spacious view patio
983 sq ft Caretaker’s Cottage (Built 2002)
- 1BR/1BA with kitchen
- 2 Car attached garage
- 200 +/- sq ft bonus space
2 Car detached main residence garage
1 Car detached utility garage
Style and Materials
- Authentic French manoir design
- Imported and antique materials and fixtures
- Master craftsmanship
- Exterior stucco or stone
- Doors and windows imported from France
- Multi-hued red flat clay French tile roofs
- Expansive view terraces
- Exquisite gardens on 5 acres
- Formal cutting garden
- Terraced rose garden
- Illuminated circular fountain
- Native stone walls
- Cascading water feature and reflecting pool
- 1/3 Mile walking trail
- Illuminated stone walkways
- Heated pool
- Tennis court with hardcourt surface and foam layer
- Regulation size bocce court
- Gated entry with CCTV surveillance
- Circular gravel auto-court, parking for 10
- Overflow parking for 50 cars
- 7’ High deer fence surrounding compound
- Abundant water from two wells
- 4 water tanks each 10,000 gallon capacity
- 3 fire hydrant and fire road
- 75 KVA generator
- 1,000 gallon propane tank
- Security and fire detection system
- Architecture: Brandenberger, Taylor and Lombardo
- Garden and site design: Jonathan Plant
- Interior design: Les Poison Interiors and Margaret Nelson Allen
- Constructor: Daryl Galusha, Koala Development
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).