SELLER: Estate of Robin Williams
LOCATION: near Napa, CA
PRICE: $18.1 million
SIZE: approximately 20,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 5 half bathrooms
Inside Information: After several years on and off the market at steadily declining prices, the Napa Valley vineyard estate of late and great comedian Robin Williams has finally been sold for $18.1 million. The semi-remote spread, situated about 80 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Mayacamas Mountains between the vineyard carpeted Napa and Sonoma Valleys, was originally listed over the summer of 2012 at $35 million before it was taken off the market and re-listed in April 2014 — shortly before the Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy winning funnyman committed suicide — with a couple of powerhouse new brokers — one local, the other based in Beverly Hills — at a much reduced but in hindsight still excessively rose-tinted $29.9 million. Several more price cuts plunged to the asking price to $22.9 million before the property was purchased, according the The Wall Street Journal, for nearly half it’s original asking price by French wine makers.
The approximately 653-acre spread, dubbed Villa Sonrisa (House of Smiles) is anchored by a grand, Portuguese limestone clad Italianate villa of approximately 20,000-square-feet. Along with five bedrooms and five full and five half bathrooms, the triple-story manse encompasses plush but comfortable living and entertainment spaces that include elegantly proportioned and sumptuously appointed formal living and dining rooms, an oak-paneled library, a professional-grade home theater that seats 12 or more, a family room, and a contemporary country kitchen expensively equipped with slab stone counter tops and a couple of cooktops under a single industrial style stainless steel hood. Bonus features include: a comprehensive home automation system; an elevator that services all three floors; climate controlled cellars for art and wine storage; a bridge-accessed tower room with wrap around mountain, valley and vineyard views; and, for the security minded, not just one but three safe rooms.
The main floor of the imposing rear of the residence opens to a house-wide stone balustraded terrace with double switch back staircases that descend to a vast, antique stone tiled terrace with 65-foot infinity pool and over-sized spa flanked by a pair of elegantly slender carved stone canines.
The almost preposterously picturesque and certainly postcard worthy property also provides a separate 3,200-square-foot guesthouse, a seven-stall horse barn, a lighted tennis court, manicured lawns and multi-tiered sculpture gardens, a 100+ tree olive grove, a spring fed pond, and 18.4-acres of mature vineyards. The sprawling property has plenty its own hiking and riding trails and, because it borders the Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, access to thousands of pristine, adjoining acres.
The Williams property was represented by Cyd Greer in St. Helena and Joyce Rey in Beverly Hills, both with Coldwell Banker Previews International, and the buyers were represented by William Densberger in St. Helena and Rob Landsness in San Francisco, both with Pacific Union.
In February 2009, Mister Williams, via trust, paid “Gossip Girl”and “Hart of Dixie” executive producer Stephanie Savage $857,500 for a two-bedroom and 1.5 bathroom Storybook Tudor cottage in the Bronson Canyon area of the Hollywood Hills that was quietly sold in January of 2014 for $869,000and property records indicate the Tiburon residence where Mister Williams committed suicide, a six-bedroom and 7.5-bathroom single-story on a double-wide bay-front lot that was purchased by the hilariously erratic and frequently amped up comedian in December 2008 for $4,050,000, is still owned by his widow, graphic artist Susan Schneider.
By John Cicioni