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Healdsburg Vineyard Estate

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This is a stunning ridge-top location on the west side of Healdsburg, off West Dry Creek Road, with vineyard/valley views east toward Healdsburg, and forest/valley views to the west. The existing vineyard wraps around three sides, with the forest framing the fourth. The compound of buildings are a unique mix of craftsman, contemporary and rural vernacular styles. Comprised of the main residence, guest ‘bunkhouses’, and garage/workshop/potting shed, the layout for the compound follows a strict geometric armature, taking advantage of the key views while creating sheltered, private exterior courtyards and garden spaces. As a result, the landscape occurs primarily in the courtyards and breezeways among and between the buildings. The swimming pool, bocce court, fire pit, fountain, spa, site walls and paths all support this geometry, with the plantings serving to soften and provide counterpoint. The extensive wood deck on the east side provides outdoor living and dining space perched above the vineyards. Exterior building elements include deep eaves and covered walkways with stout but graceful timber columns and beams; expressed beams and rafters; standing seam, corrugated metal and built-up gravel roofing; vertical cedar board-on-board and horizontal fiber cement board siding; and board-formed concrete plinths with pre-cast concrete caps. Roche+Roche drew from the same palette of materials for the built landscape: the board-formed concrete and pre-cast concrete caps continue in the site walls, entry courtyard fountain, bocce court and master spa, while the crushed gravel of the paths and auto court is used on the flat built-up roofs. Reaching the top of the long entry drive through the vineyard and passing through the entry breezeway flanked by London Plane Trees in beds of Pt. Reyes Manzanita, guests arrive at the crushed gravel auto court and a small terrace with a board-formed concrete water feature, dwarf citrus trees and Catmint. To one side is another breezeway between the bunkhouses to the pool area. To the other is the bocce court, flanked by an allee of Zelkova ‘Village Green’ trees and mixed beds of the carpet Rose ‘Homerun’, Daylily hybrids, Pink Muhly Grass and Russian Sage. Hedges of California Wax Myrtle and Grecian Bay Laurel provide enclosure and separation from the auto court. Outside the potting shed, raised board-formed concrete vegetable beds flank a gravel work area. The swimming pool sits in an integral-color concrete courtyard framed by the main residence and the bunkhouses, with a shade arbor at one end, and a board-formed concrete gas fire pit that converts to a serving table at the other. Protected seating areas with Dwarf Yeddo Hawthorn, ‘Morning Light’ Maiden Grass, and ‘Platt’s Black’ New Zealand Flax plantings outside the master wing and the bunkhouses flank the pool deck. A loose grove of ‘Heritage’ River Birch winds its way through the pool courtyard, playfully breaking the rigidity of the design. Through a rolling gate, the private master garden features an outdoor shower and a raised, board-formed concrete spa flanked with ‘Quartz Creek’ Rush.
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  • Photos: Marion Brenner

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