real estate

6 homes for sale that will astonish you

Galatea © Photo courtesy of


  • Location: St. Helena, California
  • Price: $16.996 million

All the advantages of a French chateau -- without spending half a day on a plane.

Built over seven years and completed in 2010, the creation of this home "took a lot of research, time and thought process," says Winnie Fok, international sales specialist for McGuire Real Estate.

The result is replete with soaring archways, coffered ceilings, marble floors, mosaics, imported oak cabinetry and antique fireplaces. The two-story, oak-paneled library has its own elevator, Fok says.

Ou est la salle de bain? Ici.

But the home has a very modern take on entertaining. Each of the four bedrooms has its own full bathroom, Fok says. The backyard -- with a pavilion and two patios adjacent to a crescent-shaped infinity pool -- is a popular spot for outdoor events and fundraisers, she says.

Something you won't find in most chateaux: a full outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and barbecue.

The 46-acre property is surrounded by neighboring vineyards, Fok says. While this home doesn't have any vines of its own, it has an impressive wine cellar with room for 4,500 bottles -- protected by a 400-year-old wrought-iron castle door, she says.

Best of all, there are views from just about every room, she says. "You can sit in your tub and have a view of the whole Napa Valley."


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