Wine Country and Horses
Hi All, This is the first post of what i hope will be a series of regular comments on the Sonoma County wine country lifestyle and my experiences as a realtor with Coldwell Banker entering my fifth year of business. I am a high tech refugee from the Bay Area who traded in my home with views of San Francisco Bay for 3.5 acres in the wine country northwest of Santa Rosa nine years ago. My purpose was to fulfill a life long dream to own a horse property and have some more room to roam for myself and my Vizsla dogs, with whom I compete with at field events along with the horse or rather now, horses, plural. Personally I spent countless weekends searching both Sonoma and to a lesser extent, Marin and Napa counties before I found a beautiful spot on a quiet lane in the Olivet area. Wine Spectator just featured this part of Sonoma County so I guess it is catching on. (registration required).It was one of the last places I expected to buy since many of my friends owned property over in the Valley of the Moon area, i.e. Kenwood, Glen Ellen and the town of Sonoma, and their places were my base while I searched. However, one day I found a really neglected 3.5 acre piece surrounded by vineyards and horse properties which had sat on the market for over seven months. It had been very overpriced and showed poorly. Not a good sales strategy but a great opportunity for a buyer (and experienced friend) to whom setting was paramount, and the rest could be fixed. The place was full of stuff, not well maintained and a student lived in it and had the heat on to over 80 degrees every day. The grounds were neglected and there was an old prune orchard on a big chunk of it. However, the setting was secluded, with vineyard views and a quiet, peaceful feel away from major road, yet 10 minutes to everything. I was sold.
Anyway, I am very glad to have landed here, as are my horses, and absolutely love Northern and Western Sonoma County, which have so much to offer. I really donâ€™t miss the Bay Area, and can easily get to the Golden Gate Bridge in an hour (traffic permitting of course.) I fell so much more in love with the area that I began to help friends find similarly idyllic places here, and before long I got my real estate license and joined the Santa Rosa office of Coldwell Banker.
When I say I fell in love with the area, I mean, not just the space for the critters and the garden, but the access to fine food and dining, bountiful farmers markets, interesting plants and nurseries for gardening, and yet all of the big town conveniences, particularly over the last nine years with some good foreign cinema, better shopping and more and varied restaurants. What I hope to acheive in this blog is to share some of the aspects related to this lifestyle that I enjoy as I come across new restaurants or other items of interest, and of course to keep you abreast of the current market for Sonoma County real estate and wine country living, and of course, all things related to Sonoma County wine country horse property.