Mediterranean-style architecture is as much a part of the California iconography as oak trees and vineyards. Red tiled roofs, plastered walls and terracotta tiles often inspire visions of old world elegance and celebrate a way of life that can only be found in warmer, moderate climes. It’s not every day that one comes across a newer property — one built in the 21st century at least — that brings the romance and timeless qualities of the historic architectural style into the modern era with such grace. Yet that is exactly what has manifested in this magnificent vineyard estate in Portola Valley, set on approximately 41 magical acres about 30 miles outside of San Francisco.
Listed for $22 million by Virginia Kavanaugh of Coldwell Banker Realty in Portola Valley, the property is immediately defined by spectacular top-of-the-world San Francisco Bay views. A gated circular driveway surrounded by palatial grounds with vast lawn, specimen trees and colorful gardens provides your first introduction to the grand villa. Beyond an arbor-covered gate, the front terrace practically transports you to the Italian countryside.
Completed in 2006, the villa is arranged over three levels connected by an elevator. The interiors take cues from Mother Nature as warm earth tones, natural stones, richly hued woods and terra cotta tiles blend with scrolled ironwork and touches of stained glass. Iron and glass front doors usher you inside the foyer with immediate sightlines to the bay. An extending gallery, with an entertainment bar and barrel-vaulted ceiling, coaxes you further inside.
The scale of the residence — all 14,500 square feet of it — allows for formal and informal spaces that spill out to exceptional front and rear terraces, creating a memorable setting for luxury living and entertaining. Behind a scrolled iron gate entry, the living room impresses with a coffered all-wood ceiling, and three sets of French doors to the Bay view terrace.
Hardwood floors and Venetian plaster walls continue into most rooms. The formal dining room opens from two sets of French doors to the Bay view terrace; meanwhile, the adjoining butler’s pantry has two Thermador warming drawers, a U-Line icemaker and refrigerator and sink to facilitate entertaining.
The kitchen serves as a culinary retreat with commercial quality appliances equipped to accommodate any-sized gathering, plus two islands (one with butcher block), granite counters, and tile floor and backsplashes. An adjacent day office and walk-in pantry complete the space.
A breakfast room touched with a coffered wood-paneled cathedral ceiling and elevated fireplace surrounded in custom tilework adjoins the aviary, also accessed from outside.
The oak-paneled den exudes warmth with built-ins, concealed media space, and fully retractable glass doors opening to the front terrace.
Located beyond the living room is the family room with a coffered ceiling, wood-stove set in a precast mantel and four French doors extending to the Bay view terrace. Two bedrooms complete the main level — one offers direct access to a dual-entry bath with shower, while the other is served by a hallway bath with tub and overhead shower. Each bedroom opens to the grounds.
Upstairs, a multi-room primary suite beckons with a sitting room, wet bar and private balcony. Double doors open to a wood-paneled office with a bay view balcony and gas-log fireplace. The bedroom itself is a study in luxury with its own Bay view terrace, dressing area with walk-in closet, and two stunning baths. One bath boasts a tub and shower, while the other one features a sunken jetted tub beneath body sprays and two rainspout showers plus a cedar sauna and private terrace.
Two other bedrooms offer their own creature comforts. One bedroom has been customized for office use and has private balcony and en suite bath with shower. The additional bedroom features a private bay view balcony and en suite bath with shower.
Beyond the bedrooms, there are multiple rooms for everyday living: a wine cellar and tasting room, a theater with seating for 8, a large recreation space with a full kitchen plus two additional multi-purpose rooms that open to the rear terrace and have direct access to a shared bath with shower. A well-being center with a spa, steam and sauna allows one to fully unwind and de-stress without ever having to leave home.
The grounds are equally impressive with a pool, spa, pool house with full kitchen and bath, and tennis court, all intertwined with beautiful landscaping and sweeping Bay views. There are even more treasures waiting to be discovered, including an attached 3-car garage, 1-car garage and workshop plus a two-story playhouse.
“It’s the perfect place to escape from the fast daily pace of Silicon Valley,” says Kavanaugh. “It’s an unrivaled piece of real estate in every conceivable way.”