There's been little movement in wine country real estate. Few vineyards or wineries have been sold for the same reasons the rest of the country's real estate market has been stuck. It's a terrible time to sell, and a difficult time to buy or borrow.
Case in point: The late Robert Mondavi's Napa Valley estate is being offered at a sealed-bid auction Nov. 16 in what amounts to a half-off sale. The 56-acre property where the famous vintner and his wife Margrit resided for years came on the market in 2010 for $25 million, then dropped to $20 million, and now a minimum bid of $13.9 million is the asking price.
It's a luxurious estate by any measure. The 11,500-square-foot home, owned by Mondavi's three children, is located atop a knoll in Yountville, near Stags Leap. It has (naturally) a wine cellar and swimming pool in the living room, with a retractable roof, along with a guesthouse, two tennis courts and room for 2 acres of vines.
Grand cru vineyard sites are more valuable than home sites, which is why high-end vineyard land in Napa has commanded prices as high as the $400,000-an-acre mark. But if you're looking to size up what the real-estate market looks like in general, the recent price reductions in Mondavi's home are a good indication.
At the height of the real-estate boom, the home might have sold for the $25 million asking price. Today? Who knows? Anyone in the market?
Vince — shanghai,china — October 11, 2011 10:22am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions