Terra Del Cuore
“Terra del Cuore” is Italian for “land of the heart,” the place where one’s deepest longings lie. In Napa, it is the name of a trio of Tuscan-style houses that sit high above the valley in one of the finest meetings of nature and man’s artistry in all of California.
It starts with the surrounding rugged mountain landscape, whose rocky peaks rise like the walls of Incan fortresses, swathed in chaparral, oaks, manzanitas and succulents. The view is one of Wine Country’s grandest, sweeping miles across southern Napa Valley to San Pablo Bay and Mt. Diablo.
The property’s landscaping is archetypically Mediterranean, with olive trees, cypresses, oleander and other flowering bushes, fruit trees, flowerbeds and grape vines growing profusely around the houses and on the terraces that bracket them. Fountains, sculptures and amphorae are everywhere, placed with casual, but knowing, flair.
The main house, built of massive stones and stucco, is festooned with vines that blaze in fall. Its flagstone deck surrounds a small pool and spa, and the adjoining patio has a large stone fireplace, grill, refrigerator and an extensive food prep area. Two arbors shelter a dining table and bar tables.
Terra del Cuore’s first guesthouse has a deck overlooking the valley and a trellised patio edged by vines, flowers, a fountain and hand-laid rock walls. It also has rustic Italian scenes painted on its outer walls. The second guesthouse, built atop a three-car garage, is close to a bocce court and spaces built along nearby walking paths for sitting and sipping wine.
Other delightful touches include red grape vines that seem to grow everywhere, next to the houses and on terraced slopes, as well as a small outdoor chapel, located next to a vegetable and fruit garden. Hillside trails that loop the property branch out in all directions, with signs indicating the distance in miles to such places as New York City and Bordeaux. (At one point on the trails, a telescope that looks exactly like the ones you find at panoramic overlooks has been set up to take advantage of the valley view.)