The 6,000-square-foot “Villa Cucina,” which sits on 40 acres of prime Napa Valley land, was built for Pat Kuleto, the famed San Francisco restaurateur, back in 1995.

As one would expect, the centerpiece of the rustic five-bedroom home is an oversized kitchen designed by Kuleto himself, outfitted with commercial grade appliances, an indoor grill, a pizza oven and plenty of counter space. There’s another pizza oven, bar and dining area outdoors, along with an infinity edge pool and big Napa Valley views.

And having hit the market priced at $8.499 million in May of 2018, reduced to $7.999 million that July, to $6.999 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, to $6.15 million in January of 2019, to $5.999 million in March of 2019, to $5.699 million last August, and then to $5.5 million this past September, Villa Cucina (a.k.a 2460 Sage Canyon Road in St. Helena) has just been listed anew with an official “1” day on the market and a further reduced list price of $4.895 million, a sale at which would be considered to be “at asking” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by jenofla

    I don’t know the Napa market but is this not selling simply because of aesthetic style or because it was overpriced for location and amenities and stats?

    I personally love it and feel it’s a fairly classic style (storybook forest) that should hold its own, but I’m nowhere near the target buyer.

  2. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    I adore the design of this place but I imagine anyone in this market views an existing structure of any kind or quality as a liability. It will be a miracle if they find a buyer who doesn’t want to bulldoze the house.

  3. Posted by Dave

    Love the look and the views. That rustic feel, I would think, has a real appeal to some. Especially in the time of Covid it seems this would be ideal for a wealthy family looking to get out of the inner Bay Area. Perhaps the original asking price was way too high? With the 40 “prime” acres to boot, I’d expect that at $4,895 million this place will draw lots of interest.

  4. Posted by Tony Timpa

    Two years ago, someone said:

    “They should be glad to get anything more than 4.5mm for this place, and no, it doesn’t really matter how much they spent building it.“

    Still true.

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    My guesses of what is holding this place back are:

    1. Out in the boonies and a long drive to anywhere. Convenience has a value
    2. Highly styled. Buyers in this price range will want something that fits their style. While I too like the look of this place, I’d expect it to appeal to < 5% of buyers who could afford it
    3. Increased risk of wildfire. Though that orchard below the infinity pool creates a nice defensible space.

    • Posted by napa

      Not only is it in the boonies, its within the winery property, so no privacy. Literally the tour groups are very close to the front door.

      • Posted by Lisa Sheppard

        It’s not within the winery property and the winery is by appt only….no tour groups or people have any access to or are close to this property.

        • Posted by Tom McMillan

          Do you share the road to the property with the winery?

  6. Posted by sf

    The ceiling of the kitchen reminds me of Blair Witch Project

  7. Posted by hungry78

    Looks like in 1995 they copied many of the details that appear in Boulevard restaurant – the hood above the stove, the organic iron railing in picture three, the tiffany lamps, etc. I hope the house comes with the Boulevard copper cups to keep your french fries piping hot while you eat them 🙂 Count me as another fan that can’t afford it. Hope the lucky buyer enjoys it.

  8. Posted by Lisa Sheppard

    Hi there–I’m the Realtor for this property…thank you for taking the time with your comments. To address “Napa”‘s comment, this is not close to the winery, and the winery is (and always has been) “by appt only” and there are no “tour groups” or people that have access to this property at all. This incredible property is 2 miles up a paved road and the winery is quite a bit below this parcel.

    This is a property for people who want to get away from it all…but is only 15-20 mins to downtown St Helena. We are, in fact, getting lots of attention and if you have someone that may have some interest, please let us know! Thanks for your comments- and for keeping it positive- and have a great day.

    • Posted by sockettome

      Thanks for weighing in on this. Two years and no sale – why such a problem to sell it?

      • Posted by Lisa Sheppard

        It’s actually be in contract more than once and fallen out (no fault of the property) and it’s also been off the market since last October. It’s not been actively on the market that long.

        • Posted by Tom McMillan

          Can you get fire insurance?

    • Posted by jimbo

      i will take it for $2M. any chance?

  9. Posted by wifey

    Kind of looks like bass pro shop meets black bear dinner

    • Posted by Kyle S.

      This is the house that The Grove pretends to be.

  10. Posted by sockettome

    Standing in line at Dean & DeLuca, I overheard that the seller chopped off 562 acres of the original 602 acre Kuleto property and thought the house + 40 acres would sell for the same they paid for the whole.

  11. Posted by PeterB

    Imagine eating mushrooms there! Thomas Kincaid would love it and probably has the money to buy it.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Other than being dead for…what?…ten, twelve years. Perhaps his estate can open a memorial B&B.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Too funky and not enough like the Cotswolds for Kinkade, if he were still alive.

  12. Posted by MS Corrigan

    Looks like the designer decided to invert the house, with the attic — and all its detritus — downstairs for maximum visual assault and confusion. This house exemplifies the epitome of one person’s eccentric taste, beloved during his lifetime and serving his own sense of beauty and comfort. But none other. Nice view, though. Should sell for land value less clearance cost.

  13. Posted by Tony Timpa

    This house is a mile or so from the Hennessy fire.

  14. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The 6,000-square-foot “Villa Cucina” is now in contract. And having just been “re-listed” anew with a further reduced list price, a sale at $3,875,000 would be considered to be “at asking” according to all industry stats and aggregate market reports.

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