SFGate beams over Ted Bartlett’s meticulously revamped wine country home
January 4, 2018
Getaway: Revamped Wine Country estate ‘built to be friendly and comfortable for people’
It all started with a bad case of dry rot. And what began as a simple remodel transformed into a multimillion dollar rebuild that produced one of the most scenic and luxurious homes in Wine Country.
“When we bought the house were going to do minor, minor remodeling, then we discovered significant dry rot throughout the house,” said Terry Otton, who bought 3100 Old Sonoma Road in Napa with his wife, Nancy, in 2004. “We were stuck, so we started to rebuild.”
Now their 34.85-acre estate boasts a grand view house with floor-to-ceiling commercial windows, polished Travertine tile floors, a luxurious chef’s kitchen and a plethora of outdoor entertainment spaces with views all the way to San Francisco. The home includes a pool, hot tub and a covered terrace with an outdoor fireplace and pizza oven.
“The home is not intended to be anything but friendly and comfortable,” Terry Otton said. “It’s not built to be ostentatious. It’s built to be friendly and comfortable for people.”
Work on the home took place in phases starting in 2005. The couple’s sons stayed in trailers on the property during part of the construction as the separate wings of the house took shape. The multiyear process saw the couple spend $700,000 on windows alone.
“They aren’t windows you can go down to get at Home Depot,” Terry Otton said.
The home is a monument to precision. Every finish, every design element was selected to fulfill a specific purpose. One example of the exacting detail awaits outside by the hot tub. There, the middle of the hot tub lines up with the center of a sliding glass door 30 feet away.
“I remember thinking it was a really cool coincidence and my wife says ‘You’re an idiot,’ and I realize it was designed that way,” he said. “Somebody took the time to do that for purely aesthetic purposes.”
Otton beams when talking about the quality of construction.
“The home was built like a brick house,” he said. “It’s virtually indestructible.”
When a 6.0 earthquake struck Napa in 2014, the mansion went unblemished. Terry Otton credits the strong foundation and thoughtful design for its performance.
The durable infrastructure allows Otton and his wife to focus on the finishes and fine living. The master suite has floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the valley and city lights in the distance. The carpeted suite has a tray ceiling with recessed lights, and the spa bathroom enjoys dual vanities with wall-mounted fixtures near a soaking tub set beneath a view window. The elongated bathroom includes a spacious walk-in closet.
Superlative design awaits in the massive open kitchen. In addition to more than 40 feet of counter space, the kitchen hosts professional appliances, bar seating and custom cherry cabinetry. This segues to a family room anchored by a wood-burning fireplace with stone surround.
What Terry Otton likes most about the home is the indoor/outdoor livability. Ipe decks and Travertine patios provide places to gather any hour of the day. People flock to the covered deck with the outdoor fireplace whenever the weather is foul, he said.
“It can be pouring rain and cold, but you’re sheltered and the fire is burning,” he said.
The deck off the kitchen faces north, looking past Napa to Yountville, while the pool looks west. The spa rests in a south-facing patio that includes a shaded bench built around a mature oak tree. Each of the guest bedrooms enjoy a north-facing patio.
“There are areas throughout the house,” he said. “Each are unique and different depending on time of day and depending on what view you want to see.”
The list price of $14.5 million also includes Nancy Otton’s Ramspur Winery, an award-winning label that produces the varietals grown on site. Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are among the wine grapes cultivated on the rolling hills.
There’s plenty of open space to play with. Listing agent Ted Bartlett intends to have a landscape architect survey the property to suggest opportunities for outdoor spaces.
Address: 3100 Old Sonoma Road, Napa.
Price: $14.5 million.
Features: Six-bedroom, eight-bathroom contemporary located on a 34.85-acre estate in Wine Country. The home features commercial windows, polished Travertine floors, multiple patios and a covered deck with an outdoor fireplace and pizza oven. The purchase price includes the Ramspur Winery.
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