The son of Costco co-founder and former CEO James Sinegal has purchased the historic Inglewood Estate, accompanying vineyard and winery in St. Helena for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million.
Sinegal-Inglewood LLC closed on the sale in late April, according to County Recorder documents. An application filed with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control lists David Edward Sinegal as the managing member of Sinegal Family Estate, located at Inglewood’s address, 2125 Inglewood Ave.
The new owners will do business as the Sinegal Family Estate, according to the ABC application.
Formerly known as the Jaeger family estate, the property was most recently home to Doug and Jane Wolf and Wolf Family Vineyards.
In December 2011, the property was offered for sale privately, said Pacific Union International’s Robyn Bentley. The broker associate co-listed the property with Birgit Hall of TRI Coldwell Banker, she said. Chuck Sawday and Jane Garassino of Pacific Union International represented the Sinegal family.
Originally priced at $25 million, the price for the estate was later dropped to $20 million, Bentley said. The exact sale price was not disclosed but “it was close” to the $20 million asking price, she said.
The historic Inglewood Estate consists of 30 acres, approximately seven acres in vines, a stone winery with tasting room, a 5,500-case permit, a main residence, a two-bedroom guest house, pool, tennis court, sports field, exercise studio, lake, olive orchard, gardens and “privacy,” said the listing brochure.
The main home, a 19th-century restored Victorian, is approximately 6,000 square feet and includes three stories with five bedrooms, three full baths and two half baths and a covered porch.
On the grounds, a 25-acre lake with a dock and beach is shared with Flora Springs Winery. More than 125 olive trees also decorate the land.
Hal Forcey, senior appraiser at American AgAppraisal, said the Napa County market for larger vineyard and home estates has been brisk.
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“We’re seeing above-normal sales transactions and strong price points for good properties, regardless of location if they are capable of producing top quality cabernet,” Forcey said.
While he couldn’t comment on the Inglewood sale because of his prior involvement with some of the individuals involved in the transaction, “amenities and history” are the keys to such a sale in Napa Valley, Forcey said.
“Buyers definitely want unique,” he said. “They want the view, seclusion, a little bit of vineyard.” And a story. “Napa is all about selling the story. If I have a property that’s got a story attached to it, life is good.”
Those potential buyers can include locals that have already made money in the area, the lifestyle buyer or international investors. And unlike during the recession, “there are no real distressed properties left. Winery properties are rocking right now.”
However, $20 million estate sales will remain rare. “I don’t think we’ll see a flurry of $20 million estates coming in the market. There aren’t many of them and most that own them don’t need to sell them. They are pretty rare and unique when they do come on the market.”
According to a sales brochure, Inglewood Estate’s first harvest was in 1884. Alton Williams purchased the property in 1879 for $7,500 and christened it Inglewood. Ingle reportedly means “by the fireside” in Scottish. He planted his first vineyards in 1881.
With 25 acres in vines, Williams built a 24-by-60-foot frame wine cellar with a stone foundation. The winery was capable of producing 20,000 gallons annually. Williams eventually sold to San Franciscan Adolph Siebrecht.
Lila and Bill Jaeger purchased the property in 1965. As founders of Freemark Abbey and Rutherford Hill wineries, the Jaegers received numerous accolades for restoration and preservation as owners of Inglewood Estate, the listing brochure said.
Doug and Jane Wolf bought the property in 1996. The Wolfs began producing wine under their Wolf Family Vineyards label in 1997. With their youngest child off to college, the family was looking for new opportunities, said Bentley. The couple has since purchased a smaller estate in St. Helena where their wine business continues, she said.