A Spanish-style estate in Northern California wine country was snapped up by a Hearst heir last week in a record deal for the bucolic city of Calistoga.
Its $9.5 million sale price gives it the prestige of being the most expensive home sold in the Calistoga area, a distinction it shares with one other home that sold last spring for the same price on the outskirts of town, listing records show.
The Hearst sale, meanwhile, ranks as the biggest deal in town.
Nestled in the foothills of Mount Saint Helena, "this is a quintessential California hacienda," said listing agent Arthur Goodrich of Sotheby’s International Realty – Wine Country Brokerage, who brought the home to the market in June for $9.85 million.
"You walk in, it’s got this probably 3-inch solid mahogany door that’s carved, it’s stunning," Mr. Goodrich said. It’s a "very grand home but not overbearing. It’s so well designed and well visualized [and] just such a warm home."
The buyers are William Randolph Hearst III—grandson of the famed publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst—and his wife, Margaret Crawford Hearst, according to Sotheby’s.
The sellers of the home, who bought the underlying land in 2000 for $395,000, records show, may have unwittingly predicted the property’s new owners in happenstance decor choice.
"They have in the main, grand room this tremendous fireplace," Mr. Goodrich said. The mantel is bookended by two paintings: the Italian village of Positano is pictured on the right, and on the left is the palatial Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
"If that’s not serendipity, I don’t know what is," Mr. Goodrich said.
The five-bedroom home is loaded with carefully considered details such as Italian plaster walls, custom green-glazed roof tiles, Portuguese terracotta floors polished to a leather-like finish and exposed antique reclaimed beams, according to the listing.
"The library is such a remarkable room," Mr. Goodrich said, noting the coffered ceiling, fireplace and blue leather inset in the back of the bookcases.
Calistoga, at the northern end of Napa Valley, is "a very hometown feeling town, very approachable," Mr. Goodrich said. "It keeps its small town charm—we still have a lighted tractor parade."
"I’m thrilled [the buyers] felt the same way, they loved the feeling of the town."
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