How to say I love you? Let’s count the ways! Pen a lyrical sonnet, sing a sirenic serenade, offer a dozen red roses — okay, maybe throw in a box of Godivas. Or, as Valentine’s Day approaches, why not present your sweetheart with an everlasting architectural monument to your undying love? (or, at the very least, share an elaborate fantasy of your own “Grand Palais de L’Amour” over a glass of your favorite bubbly?)
Here are three Sonoma County palatial jewels to aid you in your loving fantasies:
800 Shiloh Canyon
Nestled amidst lush gardens, this Provence-meets-California country manor exudes timeless European elegance — its view loggia evokes a sense of nobility: of knights, of maidens, of troubadours, of chivalry and of courtly love.
While it may not outshine the affectionate architecture of the Taj Mahal or rival the riveting romance of Boldt Castle, this sophisticated sanctuary certainly beguiles while, at the same time, signaling that home is still where the heart is. All the ingredients for a Sonoma County courtship are here: from expansive views of rolling hills dotted with century-old gnarly oaks to a cherry wood paneled library complete with fireplace that can make a slow burning romance spark into everlasting love.
7420 Sonoma Mountain Road
There are no doubts about the romantic credentials of this William Turnbull designed Glenn Ellen “Federal Farmhouse.” From summer breakfasts spent savoring sweeping views of the majestic Mayacamas Mountains and the emerald hills of Bennett Valley, to nocturnal tête-à-têtes snuggled on a love-seat equipped white stained porch, there are no doubts that love here abides.
And, if romance leads to a tribe of children, fear not — at 4,668 square feet, four spacious bedrooms and three generous bathrooms, there is plenty of living space to encourage an atmosphere of familial bliss.
3315 Westside Road
Lovebirds will be drawn to the the centerpiece of this elegant wine-country chateau — a private lake, ideal for hand-holding and afternoon strolls. The expanse of water is a pleasure to behold as it mimics, reflects and amplifies the seasonal changes of Northern California nature. And this lake is not just for appreciating from afar: pop a bottle of Dom Pérignon into a picnic basket laden with strawberries, French Brie and rosemary crackers; then embark with the love of your life on a boating Saint Valentine’s date.
As the private road winds through the 16 acre estate, you first encounter a petanque court surrounded by lavish vegetable and flower gardens. Proceed along the lake and you will reach the vine-draped French-style country house, which is perched on an elevated plateau offering panoramic views of Sonoma countryside. This 4,700 square foot residence resonates romantically with the surrounding landscape. A hide-away in the Healdsburg hills, it offers three bedrooms, three commodious bathrooms and a powder room serving the public area.
And so, as these lovely Sonoma county days of February continue toward Valentine’s Day, take a moment to watch the first blossoms unfold and, remembering that all good things come in threes, whisper three magic words (I love you, je t’aime, jag älskar dig — you pick the language) to someone you love.