Italian-Inspired Architectural Delight in Napa Valley Lists for $12.5M

A year in Italy inspired the design of this custom compound -- a collection of four structures -- in St. Helena, CA. Located in the heart of Napa Valley's wine country, this property is listed for $12.5 million.

While it doesn't have a vineyard or winery, the three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom property's privacy makes it a rare gem.

"It's up on a hill, on 60 acres, so you don't see another home at all," says Hillary Ryan, the listing agent with Pacific Union and Christie's International Real Estate. "It feels like a different world up there. Whenever I get back to town, I feel refreshed."

The owners built the 4,400-square-foot home atop Spring Mountain in 2001 (a process that took three years) and now are selling to move closer to family in Marin County. A four-story observation tower affords 360-degree views of Napa Valley and required special approval from the county to build.

"It would be a great place to do yoga or use as a sleeping porch," says Ryan.

Outside the 2005 AIA award-winning home is a refreshing plunge pool surrounded by the natural beauty of the Napa area. Inside the airy, open-concept home, you'll find Brazilian-cherry flooring and custom redwood windows and cabinets, along with a chef-grade kitchen featuring a Viking range, Miele dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and wine cooler. Doors in the kitchen open to an outdoor patio with a fireplace. In the master bath is a custom cast-iron soaking tub.

Will the buyer be a fan of novels like Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" and Frances Mayes' "Under the Tuscan Sun"? Or just a wine lover who's looking to get away from it all?

According to Ryan, "It appeals to people who want the experience of a vineyard," but without the upkeep a vineyard requires. She notes it could be someone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and wants a weekend escape, or perhaps someone who's tired of the wintry weather in New York City.

One thing's for certain: It will definitely be someone who loves entertaining and the great outdoors.

"There's as much exterior footage as interior footage," says Ryan.