Is Earthquake Insurance Worth Having?

earthquake insurance

Having experienced the violent, 6.0 earthquake that hit Napa Valley at 3:20 a.m. on August 24th, the answer to this question for me is a resounding “yes!" I was wide-awake when the quake hit. It felt like my new home had come off the foundation and was moving back and forth by a foot or two. Miraculously, not one thing in my home, inside or out, moved an inch. Unfortunately this was not the experience for many residents of Napa, Yountville and Oakville. Many people lost everything in the quake – their homes were trashed and commercial buildings in downtown Napa suffered severe damage while gas and water lines broke. The estimated damage … [Read more...]

Buyers Turn To Social Media In Home Buying Process


According to the California Association of Realtor’s 2014 Home Buyer Survey, 97% of homebuyers are utilizing the internet to search for properties.  A staggering 91 percent of buyers are using their mobile devices. 34 percent of buyers stated that Zillow is the most useful site, followed by with 22%, and Trulia with15%. The survey also indicated that the number of people who actually found their home online tripled from 14 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2014. This behavior shows a new trend developing where buyers are turning to the internet, especially in the early stages of their search, rather than reaching out to an … [Read more...]

Chinese Buyers Invest in Napa Valley Real Estate

Quixote Winery, Napa Valley, CA

Napa Valley is attracting an increasing number of Asian investors each year. For high-net worth Chinese buyers who have a love affair with luxury items, acquiring vineyards in the world’s most prestigious wine growing regions (France, Italy, Australia, South Africa & the US) is a luxury investment, especially if made in the US and they also see a pretty good return on their investment. Recently in the China Daily, Charles Kimball, owner of Napa Winery Tours, predicted that "The Chinese presence in Napa will explode in the next five years...This is only the beginning of the influx”. Recent vineyard and winery sales to Asian buyers … [Read more...]

Q2 2014 Wine Country Market Update – Napa & Sonoma Valley

wine country market update

An exciting second quarter report recently compiled by Sotheby’s International Realty Wine Country’s Broker, Jeffrey Gibson, revealed that as we reach the second half of 2014, market growth in wine country is the most powerful we’ve seen in years. Per the Bay Area Real Estate Information Service, overall sales of single-family homes in wine country priced above $500k experienced significant increases. While each area did see an increase; St. Helena lead the pack with a 64% increase in sales volume in 2014 in comparison to the second quarter of 2013. In terms of average sales price for single-family homes in the wine country market, … [Read more...]

Meadowood Lane – Breaks Record For Highest Residential Sale

meadowood lane

I’m delighted to report that I just broke my own record of selling the highest residential property without a commercial component in the history of Napa Valley. 870 Meadowood Lane in Saint Helena, located through the security gates of Meadowood Resort, closed on Monday July 7, 2014 for $15,000,000. It was truly an honor and a privilege to be involved in this historical transaction. In 2007 I was the co-listing agent and co-agent for the buyers of another magnificent property, 20 Campbell Creek Road, Oakville, which until now was the highest residential sale in Napa Valley’s history. The sale price was $13,950,000. The property re-traded in … [Read more...]

6 Missteps to Avoid When Selling Wine Country Property

wine country property

Having specialized in high-end wine country properties in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys for over a decade, I have seen the same mistakes made by sellers over and over again. Mistakes that often prevent them from achieving their goals in a timely manner or in some case at all. Because of this repeated and unfortunate trend, I wanted to share the advice I give all my sellers and anyone that interviews me to list their property. The wine country has a huge second home market, so a buyer’s checklist is somewhat different to the checklist they use when buying a primary home. 1. Neglecting the grounds can be a huge deterrent: Curb appeal and … [Read more...]

How Did Napa’s 2013 Wine Grape Crop Compare to 2012?

napa valley wine grape crop

With a total value of $656,234,900, the Napa Valley 2013 wine grape crop was 41% higher than the last decade’s average of $464,507,200. While comparable in value for 2012, which was a record-breaking year, the actual production decreased by 4.4%, or 8,000 tons. Total tonnage from the sprawling 43,568 acres of Napa Valley vines came out to 174,847 tons – a 22.3% increase from the 10-year average of 143,001 tons previously. These figures work out to a little over 4 tons per acre, on average. The median price for Napa Valley wine grapes in 2013 was $3,753 per ton. To be more specific, Cabernet Sauvignon earned an average of $5,474 per ton … [Read more...]

Highest Priced Luxury Home Sales

st. helena luxury home

For over a decade I have used the results of Auction Napa Valley as a barometer for how the real estate market will fare each year. The results have always proven to have a direct correlation to the luxury sales market in Napa Valley. We have seen a surge in sales of some of the highest priced luxury homes and estates (without a commercial component) in years. For example, there have been 5 sales priced over $11 million since 2012. One other property (in which I am representing the buyer) will close next month and will rank as the highest price ever paid for a residential home in the history of Napa Valley. Only 2 other properties have … [Read more...]

Auction Napa Valley’s Record Breaking Year

auction napa valley

The irresistible medley of delectable eats, world-class Napa Valley wines, and a gorgeous landscape was the ideal inspiration last weekend as bidders from near and far contributed a whopping $18.7 million to nonprofit organizations benefiting children’s education and healthcare. This outpouring of support is an illustration of just how powerful of an event Auction Napa Valley has become – in fact; it is the most celebrated wine event in the world and raised more this year than in the history of the Auction. Without the tireless commitment the over 1,000 vintners, chefs, volunteers, and donors offered for this occasion, the tremendous … [Read more...]

A Cult Wine to Watch for

Morlet Cult Wine

Luc and Jodie Morlet have been methodically handcrafting vineyard designated wines and unique cuvées of Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Painstakingly farmed vineyards and low-intervention winemaking practices create dominant yet sophisticated wines that have gained a reputation as being one of Napa Valley's up-and-coming cult wines - highly prized and allocated.   By introducing old world ideologies and acclimating them to California, the Morlet Family Vineyards style results in wines which are congruent in their concentration, lushness, intricacy, and elegance. These … [Read more...]