Live the California Wine Country Dream at Flax Vineyard

Vineyards go on the market all the time -- but they don't always include a contemporary house and award-winning grapes.

That's the story at Flax Vineyard, a 52-acre dream property in the heart of Russian River Valley in Healdsburg, CA, a chic wine country town. This vineyard-and-residence package in Sonoma County recently went on the market for $18.5 million, listed by Mary Anne Veldkamp of Coldwell Banker. Charlene Schnall of Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty is the co-listing agent.

"Healdsburg is a very sought-after location right now," says Veldkamp. "This is a country property -- but close in. It's also a family compound, which is unusual."

The sellers snapped up the property in 2012 and renovated the main residence into a 6,800-square-foot modern manse. There's also a historic farmhouse and caretaker's cottage on-site; the three properties combined total 11 bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms.

"It doesn't even resemble the [orginal] house at all," says Veldkamp about the main residence's renovation, with its three bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. "They brought in a more contemporary style to the house."

Now, there's also a glass-walled wine cellar, a master-bedroom wing, two guest suites, alfresco dining space with terrazzo and teak flooring, and an exercise room.

And the kitchen is prepped for entertaining or cooking with Sonoma County's abundance of local fruits and vegetables. Check out the granite slab countertop, twin Miele dishwashers, the six-burner Wolf range (including hood and warming drawer), and a Sub-Zero refrigerator.

Also on the property are a pool, a koi pond, tennis and petanque courts, a garden, a fruit orchard, and a barn. A six-bedroom, five-bathroom restored farmhouse dates to 1930 and offers more than enough room to stow visiting relatives or to rent out to travelers. There's also a two-bedroom, one-bathroom caretaker's cottage on the property.

Beach frontage on the Russian River -- which this property has -- is unusual for a winery. The next owner can just hop in a canoe or kayak without major portaging.

Another perk? "The very high-end wine that's coming off of the property," says Veldkamp. "Russian River pinot noir is highly sought after." All 21 acres of grapes are under contract with Merry Edwards Winery and Williams Selyem Winery, two wineries that have earned high scores from wine critics. Additional acres are being planted.

Yet another reason this property bubbles above other listings is that it's a vineyard. "Vineyards (come on the market) not as frequently as wineries. This is a residential property with an estate vineyard," says Veldkamp.