If you're looking for something off the well-beaten wine paths of Napa and Sonoma, the Livermore Valley just east of Silicon Valley attracts wine entrepreneurs and wine lovers on tasting treks.
Eleven years ago, Nancy Tenuta, founder of Tenuta Vineyards, snapped up a sweet parcel of land (just over 20 acres) in Livermore and planted a vineyard. Now on the cusp of retirement, she's put the 5,287-square-foot home -- plus the adjoining winery and vineyard -- on the market for $9.6 million.
"This area is an exclusive location: Ruby Hill, a high-end (development) with multimillion-dollar homes," says listing agent Ralph Watkins of Watkins Real Estate, noting that every lot is at least 20 acres.
Within the Mediterranean-style grounds at Tenuta Vineyards is a 15,000-square-foot production facility and a tasting room featuring gorgeous views of Mount Diablo and the Livermore Valley.
And if the buyers want to live where they work, there's a beautiful two-story, six-bedroom, five-bathroom main home, which was built in 2003. Tall arched windows in the living room invite sunlight in, while the fireplace is a relief on cool nights. The master bathroom features a soaking tub.
If, however, the buyers want to maximize all aspects of the property, the home could be transformed into a revenue stream. "This could be a straight business venture, because the house has the zoning to be a bed-and-breakfast," Watkins says.
At the tasting room, a large patio outdoors encourages alfresco sipping and a half-moon-shaped bar inside is propped up by wine barrels for an Old World aesthetic. A large indoor space can be rented out for events.
Four varietals are currently planted on the property -- 5 acres each of chardonnay, pinot noir, and primitivo, plus 2.5 acres of pinot gris.
There are about 100 wineries in the Livermore Valley, a wine region that's seen stunning growth over the past 15 years. Expansion of Tenuta's production is also a possibility.
"This is more of a boutique winery, but the nice thing about this property is they have the infrastructure to get larger," says Watkins, who believes the winery could attract a tech millionaire to make an expensive toast. "They could be on the [San Francisco] Peninsula within an hour," says Watkins of the region that's home to many high-tech companies.
The next owner should expect to make a profit based on the past decade of business. Contracting with local wineries for use of Tenuta's production facility brings in barrels of cash.
"The production facility makes a lot of money," says Watkins. "This year they're on track for $775,000 of gross income. Last year they did $700,000."