Sunstone Villa

Sunstone Winery

125 N Refugio Rd
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
805-688-9463

A DESTINATION WINERY

When the Rice Family moved in 1989 from Santa Barbara to a peaceful 52-acre Santa Ynez ranch to grow wine grapes, little did they know that they would be stewards to one of the first organic vineyard estates in Santa Barbara County. Fred and Linda, along with son Bion, and daughters Ashley and Brittany, originally chose the terraced site overlooking the Santa Ynez River for its ideal south-sloping exposure, its sandy, rocky soil, and a micro-climate that features early morning fog, warm, breezy afternoons, and cool evenings. It proved to be a fortuitous choice, as they soon discovered that it was a perfect spot for the growing of top-notch organic grapes and enjoying a wine country lifestyle.

Our goal was to create a place where wine and food could be enjoyed in a picturesque atmosphere,” said Linda Rice. “There is a sincere camaraderie and a sense of sharing is so much a part of this lifestyle. All of our interests, from environmental preservation and organic growing, to the celebration of food, family, and friends came together here at Sunstone.”

When Linda and Fred began to build The Villa on the hillside above Sunstone Winery in 1999, they intended it to be an extension of the principles upon which they’d built their life together. Originally conceived as a private home, the 8,500 square foot Villa now serves as an extension of the Sunstone Winery lifestyle by providing a culinary center to entertain guests.

On a trip to France, Fred and Linda discovered reclamation yards containing architectural remains of buildings in towns and humble villages in various regions of France, including Marseille and Provence, from which the artifacts were incorporated into the Villa. Forty-five 40,000-pound containers arrived on the Santa Ynez hilltop just off Refugio Road from 2001-2003.

Reclaimed materials, such as French limestone, hand-formed roof tiles, a fireplace from the Bordeaux region of France, enormous hand-hewn pine beams from Queen Victoria’s lavender factory, a prison cell door from Normandy constructed during Napoleon’s reign, and a thousand-year old limestone kitchen sink were all incorporated into their dream building. Walking through the Villa is an opportunity to see and touch pieces of history.

The Villa has five suites, each with private entrances and a view of the Santa Ynez mountains and Sunstone vineyards. A bit of moss is beginning to grow on the stone at the foot of the front door. Nature is putting its own mark on the Villa, as was intended.  Fred and Linda Rice designed and built a house from which to watch the four seasons that will become even more beautiful with age, a living piece of history.

The Villa at Sunstone now serves as an extension of the Sunstone Winery lifestyle by providing a culinary center to entertain guests for intimate gatherings, small weddings, winemaker dinners and private culinary retreats.

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