Calistoga Compound Bridges the Gap Between Rustic and Refined

  • Calistoga, CA

    Calistoga, CA

  • Covered Patio

    Covered Patio

  • Entry


When designer Rela Gleason set out to create her Calistoga, CA, home, she knew what she didn't want.

"I was so bored with the clichd faux Tuscan villas," she says. "I wanted something that was original -- impossible to copy -- and totally new and unique for Napa."

We'd say mission extremely accomplished. Built in 2008, the resulting compound, which is now on the market, strives to strike a balance between "rustic and refined," according to the Architectural Digest.

You'll find no ostentatious villa here -- if you can find it at all. The 9,000-square-foot compound is nestled into 40 acres of vineyards, olive trees, and moss-covered oaks -- it can't be seen from the street.

Gleason, who partnered with architects Bobby McAlpine and John Sease, designed a country home inspired by its surroundings, combining a mix of weathered and reclaimed wood, steel, and stone for the three-pavilion structure.

"I also used only honest and indigenous materials so that the house gently blends into its native terrain," Gleason adds. "It is a house always full of dogs and children, family and friends, and it never fails to be the perfect venue for any and all occasions."

"The house, it's just incredible," listing agent Ginger Martin says. "It's very organic and very glamorous."

To live here, you must also be very wealthy. The Napa Valley property is listed for $21.5 million.

A buyer will want for nothing after the deal is closed. This home has pretty much everything (we checked). The three structures on the property are connected by covered breezeways.

The main building includes living and dining areas with soaring ceilings and light-filled spaces, plus a four-island kitchen and sunroom. The kitchen and dining area open up to a garden, a covered terrace, a wood-burning fireplace, and an infinity pool.

Indoors, there's also a library, master suite, and guest suite. The bathrooms include walled gardens and outdoor showers. (As we told you: everything.)

A second pavilion includes the garage and more guest quarters. The third pavilion houses a gym and an office, plus a media room and wine cellar.

According to Martin, Gleason and her husband, Don, bought the land in 2000. Everything has been developed from the ground up, including the now-mature plantings.

To add to the picturesque setting, the olive trees are harvested for oil and the grapes are turned into a cabernet wine. And the lush grounds offer hiking trails.

In fact, size is one reason Gleason says they're ready to sell. "As much as we adore our compound, it's time for us to consider downsizing," she says. She and her husband, she admits, "get high on the smell of sawdust. We love to create fabulous places and are always looking for the next challenge."