REAL ESTATE

Fully Restored, Paul Masson's Former Saratoga Chateau Is Listed for $7M

  • 14754PierceRoadBath

    14754PierceRoadBath

  • 14754PierceRoadCarriageHouse

    14754PierceRoadCarriageHouse

  • 14754PierceRoadDining

    14754PierceRoadDining

Tucked into California's lesser-known Santa Cruz Mountains wine appellation is a $7 million chateau in Saratoga, CA. It went on the market last month and comes with a delectable backstory.

In 1878, 19-year-old Paul Masson arrived from Burgundy, France, armed with his family's viticulture experience. In 1927, he commissioned the construction of the four-bedroom, three-bathroom house, a replica of his home in France. When the grapes he planted in this region thrived, he became known as the first person to successfully plant a sparkling wine varietal in California, later founding Paul Masson Mountain Winery, now known as Mountain Winery, across the street. In 2008, Constellation Brands acquired the winery.

"His champagne became famous," says listing agent Patricia Anderson of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage -- Los Gatos. His signature bubbly had the honor of being served at President Harry Truman's inaugural dinner in 1949.

The 4,616-square-foot home's current owners -- who are the third or the fourth owners, according to Anderson -- purchased the property 19 years ago and embarked on an extension renovation that wrapped up 10 years ago. Now they are moving further down the coast to Carmel Valley.

"It's very French-looking and looks like a country castle," says Anderson. Famous guests at the chateau included screen legends Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles.

A couple of decades ago, the property was "in a terrible state," recalls Anderson, who brokered the sale to its current owners. The owners "wanted the land and the grapes," she says. "They wanted to restore it to its beauty."

Retaining the original windows, fireplace, and cement floors, they added an entertaining area with a full kitchen, including a warming oven and alfresco seating. They also added a slate roof, a two-car garage, a laundry room and pantry, and a master suite upstairs with window seats.

An updated dining room has windows on both sides and access to the yard. The kitchen's butcher block was sourced from a meat market in France. A carriage house on the property was also updated and now features a dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.

The home's wine cellar is sure to entice potential buyers. "I just hope it goes to somebody who will appreciate the history of it," says Anderson.