Sip your favorite wines as well as produce them at this Paso Robles winery.
A sprawling Tuscan-style California estate with 130 acres of grapevines has come on the market for the first time since 2005. The sellers of the $22 million San-Juliette mansion, as it is known, are none other than Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe , the former producers of American Idol. Together, the duo transformed this unique property into a picturesque vineyard outfitted with two three-bedroom villas and an expansive tasting room.
Turns out the idea of opening a winery wasn’t just appealing to Warwick and Lythgoe. fellow idol Alums and aspiring winemakers Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, and Randy Jackson also considered getting on the project but ultimately dropped out. Their loss was the producer’s gain when Warwick and Lythgoe bought a 400-acre property for approximately $5 million.
It took half a decade to make Villa San-Juliette the main attraction it is today – they first had to demolish the existing house to make way for a tasting room, a winery and two residential buildings. And if the name is any indication of her vision, the moniker is an ode to Shakespeare’s most tragic love story, which took place in Verona, Italy.
“With years of experience in aesthetics and set design from 50 years in the television business, we were very firm on the style of the buildings and the atmosphere we wanted to create… We didn’t want the winery to look like a movie set. It had to be a goal,” says Warwick.
Part winery and part vacation rental, Villa San-Juliette features two 4,000 square foot villas that can be used as private residences. Each has access to outdoor terraces and a communal pool. The houses in the center of the estate are connected by a tasting room where you can enjoy the view. Warwick and Lythgoe decided to open the winery and tasting room to the public, which can also double as a wedding or retreat venue.
If you’re wondering how the wine compares, there are no sour grapes here. In fact, Villa San-Juliette is popular for their vino and grows 12 varietals, with a capacity of up to 30,000 cases per year. His Bordeaux and Rhône styles even scored 92 and 93 points respectively. “Villa San-Juliette is truly the crown jewel of the Central Coast. It has an excellent reputation in the Paso area,” says Brianna Deutsch of Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills, who co-authors the list with Paul Margolis.
“Our experience in entertainment fueled the passion for Villa San-Juliette,” says Lythgoe. “Drinking your own wine and looking out over your own vines…isn’t that everyone’s dream?”
It’s definitely ours.
Click here to see all photos of Villa San-Juliette.