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Spring Cleaning Checklist for Homeowners

Posted on April 11, 2013 by Mark Stevens

As we’re venturing quickly through the start of spring, I thought it would be a good time to share some very helpful tips on home maintenance that one can easily do to prepare for summer.  Famously, “spring cleaning” is a time when old, tattered shirts from college get thrown away, and that scary hall closet that has been stuffed to the brim all throughout winter gets to see the light of day again.  It is important to rid clothes from the 80s and organize closets inside your home, but it is just as important to maintain the home itself!  This simple list of maintenance ideas makes it easy to do so before the warm, long nights of summer enchant you.  

Here’s to spring maintenance and keeping your home in tip-top shape!

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Vintner’s Oasis in Dry Creek Valley

Posted on April 04, 2013 by Mark Stevens

This magnificent oasis in Dry Creek Valley offers everything needed for Wine Country living: a large, luxury home perfect for entertaining, a state-of-the-art winery designed for ultra-premium wine production, and mountainside vineyards producing world-class wines.
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Elegant and inviting, the 6,378± square foot luxury home offers plenty of indoor and outdoor entertaining space, ideal for both intimate family gatherings and larger formal events.
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The 5,000 case state-of-the-art winery built in 2004 was designed for ultra premium wine production including temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, specialized presses for red and white wines, and solar power.  Being farmed organically and biodynamically, the 10± acres of mountainside vineyards produce exceptional Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Viognier.
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Remarkably stunning scenery is one of the many treasures this property has to offer, with majestic views from the house and vineyards spanning Sonoma, Napa and Lake Counties.  In a prime location, the estate provides complete privacy with a rural atmosphere, yet is less than ten minutes away from downtown Healdsburg with its quaint shops and world-class restaurants, and thirty minutes from the Sonoma County Airport.
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Please contact me if you would like to know more about this property.

Equestrian Haven in West Sonoma County

Posted on March 29, 2013 by Mark Stevens

This stunning 71± acre property in Freestone includes a state-of-the-art equestrian facility of over 5,500 square feet as well as an abundance of horse-care amenities and an Olympic-sized arena. 

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The 2,383± square foot residence offers three bedrooms, each equipped with access to private balconies, two and a half baths and an outdoor kitchen/ entertainment patio with a fireplace.

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Beautifully-maintained landscaping and a stunning redwood tree grove surround the residence and equestrian facility.  There are also two wells on the property that provide an abundance of water as well as supporting an elaborate water filtration system.
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With over 23± acres of potential vineyard development well-suited for Pinot Noir grapes, this West Sonoma County equestrian haven may be just as perfect for a vintner!  It will delight a host of well-rounded parties interested in a new property.

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For more information regarding this Freestone property, please contact me and I will be more than happy to arrange a showing.  Feel free to look at some of my other available properties here.  Or connect with me directly at 707.322.2000.

10 Luxury Wineries in Sonoma

Posted on March 20, 2013 by Mark Stevens

Nestled in the backyard of beautiful San Francisco is a place rich with history, wide-open spaces, access to over 300 wineries, and a transformative experience un-paralleled in the world. This is Sonoma Wine Country.

Sonoma [County] has grown tremendously in the past decade and is now, or at least should be, at the forefront of any wine lover’s mind when thinking about California’s wine industry. In the past, people may have thought there were only world-renowned luxury wines and wineries in Napa. But ladies and gentleman, Sonoma has arrived.  

It’s often been said “no matter how much money you have, you can’t buy time.” But in Sonoma, that’s what you tend to find. Sonoma is relaxed, inviting, and un-busy when compared with its chic, bustling, neighbor Napa. A place like Sonoma offers its visitors time to breathe, taste, smell, and enjoy experiences that promise a different kind of adventure. With that in mind, I offer you this list of some of the most luxurious wineries in Sonoma. So buy yourself some time, and come experience them for yourself.

Ram’s Gate Winery: One of Sonoma County’s newest gems is Ram’s Gate Winery, located just past Sonoma Raceway (formerly Infineon.) This much raved about winery creates a sense of luxurious peace, where the entire wine country experience can be enjoyed to the fullest by its guests. This winery’s fantastic ratings tell me that it is destined to impress anyone who visits.
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Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery: This Dry Creek Valley winery has style, elegance and class with an amazing hospitality center and five exquisite gardens to stroll through. Ferrari-Carano was voted best tasting room in 2012 by the readers choice award in the Press Democrat; a title that is well deserved!  
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Jacuzzi Family Vineyards: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is a beautiful 18,000 square foot winery located in Sonoma, CA. With high-end wine and olive oil tastings, this winery creates a luxurious atmosphere for guests.
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Francis Ford Coppola Winery:  There is not much that this winery doesn’t offer, and it surely doesn’t skimp on character. Making a visit to famous director, Francis Ford Coppola’s winery includes tastings, tours, dining at the winery, performances, and during the summer, taking a dive in the exclusive pool with full access to lounge and full bar. What more could one ask for?  Francis calls it a “wine wonderland.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
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Korbel: Add a little sparkle to your life by taking a trip to the sparkling wine haven of Korbel in Guerneville, CA. One of the highlights of your visit will surely be the extended tour through the historic champagne cellars, and a heavenly tasting of Korbel’s exclusive sparkling wines. 
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Ledson Winery and Vineyards:  Experience an amazing atmosphere at Ledson Winery and Vineyards in Kenwood, CA. The tasting room is located in the Ledson castle, which has been considered as an “architectural showpiece.” The castle provides a luxurious setting for anything from a wine tasting weekend, to a romantic getaway. Ledson Winery and Vineyards resized 600

St. Francis Winery and Vineyards: This beautiful mission-style hospitality center offers private estate dinners, tour and cave tastings as well as wine and food pairings. 

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Chateau St. Jean: The exquisite chateau and gardens that grace the Chateau St. Jean winery are reason enough to make a visit to Sonoma County. Their elegant tasting room will please anyone looking for a luxurious experience in Sonoma County wine country. 

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Kunde Family Estate: This beautiful estate not only spoils its guests with fantastic wine, but shares an experience of a lifetime with its unparalleled views of Sonoma County. Kunde takes wine tasting to a whole new level with tiers of exclusive tasting and tasting rooms that will be sure to please a variety of tastes. 

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Kendall-Jackson Wine Center: This well established winery in Sonoma County is a must visit for newcomers and locals alike. Kendall-Jackson‘s beautiful hospitality center offers a well-rounded experience of wine, food and the exploration of the winery’s gardens. 

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The Slow Pace of Wine Country

Posted on February 25, 2013 by Mark Stevens

Nestled iSonoman the backyard of beautiful San Francisco is a place rich with history, wide-open spaces, access to over 300 wineries, and a transformative experience un-paralleled in the world. This place is the Sonoma Wine Country.
 
Sonoma County has grown tremendously in the past decade and is now at the forefront of any wine lover’s mind when thinking about California’s wine industry. In the past, people may have thought there were world-renowned wines and winemakers only in Napa. But ladies and gentleman, Sonoma has arrived. What makes Sonoma different than Napa? There are too many differences to list them all, so we’ll refer you to our classically regional Sunset Magazine to do just that. But what I can tell you from my 30+ years of living here is that Sonoma is relaxed, inviting and un-busy when compared with its chic, bustling neighbor Napa. I love Napa and its wine and its many winemakers. But there’s something to be said for Sonoma.
 
It’s been often said “no matter how much money you have, you can’t buy time.” But in Sonoma, that’s what you tend to find. Dubbed as America’s first slow city, Sonoma Valley’s restrained growth and passion for sustainable living has enabled it to join the Cittaslow movement. A place like this offers its visitors time to breathe, taste, smell, and enjoy experiences that promise a different kind of adventure.
 
I can only say so much about this beautiful place I get to call home. I encourage you to come visit. And if you love it so much you want to stay, real estate can be your brand new start to a life filled with as much happiness as is contained in a glass of Sonoma County wine.
 
Thank you for reading my post. And feel free to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest to learn more about my luxury wine estate properties and vineyards in and around Sonoma and Napa.
 

Unified Wine Industry & Grape Symposium 2013

Posted on February 11, 2013 by Mark Stevens

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Last week was the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, CA.  This symposium was started in 1995 by two established groups in the Wine industry, the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, and has since become the largest wine and grape symposium in the nation!

This is where I go to get updated on all of the year’s current news and content that is hard to find elsewhere.  The best part is I get to hear it from the gurus of this industry, the people with inside information and predictions about what the future holds for grape growing and winemaking.

In sessions like “Foreign Investments within the U.S. Wine Industry” and “Investing in West Coast Vineyards” I was able to gather some great insight about what people are looking for in Sonoma County, and how I am able to bring those properties to the table.  The wine industry is not only an ever growing and developing industry, but getting the right vineyards, wineries and vineyard estates into the right hands is becoming the key.  We want to keep this growing industry afloat and it is refreshing to see some pretty impactful changes happening at the start of 2013 with these properties.

So, after some great lectures and plenty of handshakes, I was able to enjoy a delicious luncheon and walk through a set of exhibits with all of the latest wine technology, equipment, and wine gadgets.  The wide eyes and excitement of California’s acclaimed winegrowers was enough entertainment to last me the entire week.  Overall, this year’s Unified Symposium did not disappoint and I’m looking forward to a very fruitful year.