Inspired by the homes of Tuscany, this grand estate in Napa Valley comes with a tie to Gucci.
Maria Manetti Shrem—the owner of this $26.5 million compound, known as Villa Mille Rose—helped to bring Gucci products to the United States from her native Florence, Italy. In Italian, Villa Mille Rose translates to “villa of a thousand roses.”
“She was the main source for Gucci accessories in the U.S., to department stores,” says the co-listing agent, David Costello of Compass. “That’s how she made her fortune.” Costello is co-listing the property with Andy Ardila.
Now the philanthropist—and the namesake of an art museum at the University of California, Davis—is ready to move on.
“Ms. Manetti is 80 years old and has a home in Italy and a place in San Francisco,” says Costello. “She’s still traveling. She’s a busy woman, running around all the time. She said, ‘I just want to simplify my life and sell this property.’”
This is the first time the palatial spread of 19.2 acres, on two parcels, has been on the market in its current form.
When Manetti Shrem scooped up the home in Oakville, CA, in 1995, she built her dream home, working with the architect Dante Bini.
“She basically tore it down and built this amazing Tuscan estate,” says Costello. “It’s right in the heart of the most expensive real estate in Napa.”
The 7,900-square-foot villa comes with a four-car garage, two barns, horse stables, landscaped gardens, organic vegetable gardens, guest lodging, a caretaker’s cottage, wine cellar, 100 fruit trees, as well as 6.5 acres of Bordeaux-varietal vineyards and olive trees. There are a total of 11 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms and an outdoor pool.
Manetti Schrem produced balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil on a small commercial scale, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
For an additional fee, the home’s furnishings and antiques—curated by the interior designer Steven Volpe—can be included in a purchase.
Costello has his eye on a potential Asian buyer and even modified the Villa’s address to include the numeral eight, considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture.
A neighboring modern farmhouse and estate previously owned by J. Gary Shansby (founder of a Mexican tequila brand) sold for $18.5 million in October last year, says Costello, and is thought to have been bought by a Chinese national.
If not a buyer attracted to the number eight, another avenue might be enticing a wine collector to acquire the property. After all, two of the world’s most esteemed wineries—Screaming Eagle and Opus One—are adjacent to the property, which is also in a fire-free zone.
“It could either be a tech titan or a Chinese national or a winery owner, or this house could be repurposed into a wine club that’s extremely exclusive,” says Costello. “We’ve had two or three people interested in reconfiguring [the property in that way].”
To help market the estate, Costello and Ardila rented a luxury convertible, borrowed a Labradoodle from a friend and horses from a local animal-rescue group, and hired actors to create this lifestyle-oriented video.
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