Alexander Valley vineyard with Russian River frontage

Looking up the Russian RiverOne of my favorite pastimes is planning dream homes on the great Sonoma County properties I get to look at. Real estate is something everybody gets to have opinions about and our Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty office is no different than any place else. Some people talk about living a country lifestyle. Others are choosing to build urban refuges with minimal landscaping chores and an easy walk to restaurants. For me, the best places are either exceptional fixers with great potential that I can restore to their original glory or completely raw pieces of property in need of an environmentally sensitive and artistic approach to landscape and construction. This Alexander Valley vineyard listing from Yvonne Horton in my office is a perfect fit for the second type of project.

Alexander Valley vineyard with hillsFirst of all, the Alexander Valley is a naturally beautiful place. There’s a reason Cyrus Alexander chose it more than 150 years ago for his home and ranch. The Mayacamas mountains on the east provide a dramatic backdrop to the valley floor and the Russian River which winds it’s way south from Cloverale to Healdsburg. The 25 acres of vineyards on the property are on the valley floor which is flat enough to provide easy cultivation on the fertile alluvial soils. Last year production was 105 tons, primarily Chardonnay.

Russian River riparian scene in Alexander ValleyCloser to the river the land turns to a riparian flavor with plenty of willows and other bank holding plants. There was a quarry here at one time and the sand and gravel bars that front the river show ample evidence of the Russian River’s rock moving capability. It’s here, nearer the river, that I would envision a big family compound. A big main house with a country kitchen and party sized great room for friends and family together. There’s plenty of room for kitchen gardens, orchards, chickens and ducks and geese, and all the other small farm livestock that’s fun to have around. There’s room for a pool or a pond, and there’s always the long and private stretches along the Russian River where you can enjoy a naturalist’s holiday.

Sigh…I can’t buy it today. Maybe you can. Here’s some more details. (Update: Sold)