Stanly Ranch taking deposits on Auberge-run resort a year after fire gutted Calistoga Ranch

Sales to start this month at Napa resort more than a decade in the making

Renderings of the new resort at Stanly Ranch (Binyan Studios, Auberge Resorts)
Renderings of the new resort at Stanly Ranch (Binyan Studios, Auberge Resorts)

UPDATED Nov. 10, 2021, 12:05 a.m.: Stanly Ranch, an Auberge resort property, is accepting deposits for $4 million-plus vineyard homes in southern Napa Valley, over 10 years after the development began and a year after Auberge-run Calistoga Ranch further north was consumed by wildfires.

Prospective buyers at the new resort at Stanly Ranch are satisfied that the estate on the outskirts of the City of Napa is “not categorized as being in a fire zone,” said Krysen Heathwood, managing director at Compass Development Marketing Group, which is handling sales for the development.

Sales for the first release of Vineyard Homes at Stanly Ranch will begin later this month, with prices starting in the high $4 millions for a 6,000-to-9,000-square-foot single-family home amidst acres of vineyards and resort amenities. For now, they can only put down a $50,000 deposit to hold a pre-sale reservation, Heathwood said.

Heathwood declined to say how many deposits the first offering of 70 three-to-six-bedroom detached homes had received but did say via email that they “exceeded expectations.” She added that the property has had requests for more information from over 1,100 people without any formal marketing effort, which will translate into a “robust” priority list when its furnished, attached two-bedroom, two-bath Villa offerings begin in January 2022.

Auberge suffered a major wildfire loss just last year when its Calistoga Ranch timeshare resort further north in Napa was burned to the ground by the Glass fire. The luxury resort company is currently embroiled in a series of lawsuits over the lack of sufficient insurance coverage for the 157-acre estate.

The fire damage to Calistoga Ranch in 2020 (Source: Twitter/SenBillDod)

Nearby Auberge-run properties Auberge du Soleil and Solage sustained some damages during the Glass Fire, which raged through over 60,000 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties for a month last fall. But they were minimal compared to the total loss at Calistoga Ranch, which now does not have enough money to rebuild its fractionally owned lodges, restaurant, spa and other amenities, according to a suit filed by dozens of its timeshare owners.

The fire destroyed more than 600 homes in Napa and Sonoma county and burned down almost 350 commercial businesses. In addition to Calistoga Ranch, the Chateau Boswell winery, Eeden Vineyards, Black Rock Inn, and three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood were all completely destroyed.

Auberge has been involved in the Stanly Ranch project, about 30 miles south of Calistoga, since 2014, but it was not the first to try to create a hotel and residential resort among the grapevines on the 700-acre Stanly Ranch Vineyards property on the outskirts of the City of Napa.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

In the late 1990s, Carefree Resorts tried to build the largest private development in city history, with a 300-room resort, 600 homes, a golf course and a retail center. The developer withdrew the project after the Napa City Council decided in 1999 to put the massive project before voters and in 2003 Stanly Ranch Vineyards won city approval to carve its property into 18 parcels for a mix of home development, wineries and vineyards.

Developer Nichols Partnership became involved in a new development plan in 2006 and by 2009 it had partnered with the St. Regis chain on a plan to build a 245-unit resort, vineyards and a winery on over 90 acres. The city approved the master plan in 2010 but the number of hotel rooms were whittled down to 150 plus the 40 furnished villas and 70 vineyard homes; Auberge replaced the St. Regis as the resort operators; and the developers had to agree to pay more than $4 million into an affordable housing fund before more detailed plans were approved in 2016.

After further negotiations with the city and a new round of investor funding, construction finally began in 2019 with plans to complete the “roundly” $500-million development by the spring of 2021. ​

That timeline has been delayed, though “vertical construction is on its way” on the first phases of residences, according to Heathwood. The first move-ins for the furnished villas are anticipated in the second quarter of 2022 and move-ins at the larger vineyard homes should follow a few months later.

The resort, which will have 135 hotel cottage guest rooms and suites, each with outdoor terraces and firepits, will be open first, in early 2022 and will likely cost more than $1,000 a night. Work on the onsite winery will begin after the residential portion of the project is completed.

The extra-long development timeline made the limited number of for-sale homes in Napa’s tight real estate market that much more coveted.

Steady appreciation in the region due to the desirability of wine country life, combined with the rarity of new development in the Napa region along with a 5-star offering are contributors to the value of the homes,” Heathwood said.

The resort’s emphasis on wellness and nature are also resonating with pandemic buyers, she said.

“Our most interested purchasers are seeking a second home or a vacation property; however, we do have some who are looking for a Vineyard Home as a primary residence,” Heathwood said. The resort will offer “immersive ranch experiences” like farm-to-fork dinners, curated biking and hiking trails, and DIY lessons from the local “makers community.”

“Being able to share an enriched experience of Napa Valley with family and friends is a primary reason for choosing to purchase at Stanly Ranch,” she said.

Read more

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Auberge was taking deposits; Auberge is the operator of Stanly Ranch, which is taking deposits. Additional context added, including quote in penultimate paragraph.