A World Class Lifestyle Offering
The Santa Angelina Ranch is one of the preeminent land holdings in the Sonoma and Napa County area. Located in the Knights Valley appellation and equidistant from Calistoga and Healdsburg, this magnificent property on nearly 8,000 acres, is remarkable not only for its pristine natural resources, historic value and absolute privacy, but for its location within America’s premier wine making region and the extraordinary amenities that this area provides; world class food and wine experiences including two Michelin 3 star restaurants, luxury spas and resorts, acclaimed film festivals, venues hosting renowned performing artists, the Mayacama Jack Nicklaus-designed golf club, and even Indy and NASCAR car racing. Seldom would one find such seclusion and unmarred beauty with convenient proximity to such an exceptional and exciting lifestyle offering. The property is easily accessible. From the front gate, it is approximately a 20-minute drive to either Calistoga (Napa Valley) or Healdsburg (Sonoma County), a 45-minute drive to the Sonoma County airport with commercial airline service, and about one hour and forty minutes to San Francisco
A Rare Natural Treasure
The Santa Angelina Ranch is a rare treasure of agricultural, natural and scenic land, supporting native plant communities and wildlife habitat representative of the California Coastal Range and the Pacific Coastal Wildlife Region. It includes riparian corridors along Briggs and Maacama Creeks, and significant biotic resource areas scattered throughout, supporting a rich diversity of plant communities and wildlife habitats. Large portions of the Ranch provide an important open space vista to travelers on Route 128, designated a scenic corridor in the Sonoma County General Plan.
Owned by the same family since the early 1960s, the property has been primarily used for residential and recreational purposes, providing opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, swimming, hunting, as well as for year-round cattle farming with a herd that has historically ranged from 100 to 200 mature animals. There is significant potential for vineyard development, with approximately 1,500 acres less than 30% slope. Improvements include multiple residential buildings, one of which dates back to the late 1800s, agricultural buildings totaling over 11,000 sq ft, a helicopter hangar, two deer cabins, fences, and 30+ miles of ranch roads. The cattle operation contributes toward operating expenses and provides for “old west-styled roundups” each winter and spring. The Ranch also raises 15-30 replacement heifers annually. This herd level provides ample feed for healthy cattle while leaving plenty of natural feed for the teaming black-tailed deer population that is at home on the Santa Angelina.
There are multiple springs and three surface ponds on the Ranch used for watering cattle and game as well as fishing and swimming. Two blue line creeks flow through the property. On the westerly boundary of the property, McDonnell Creek flows year long. Bisecting the ranch flowing from east to west is Briggs Creek which is also year round. Both creeks feed into Maacama Creek which ultimately feeds the Russian River system and both also have native trout and support runs of steelhead.
In early 1996 the owners of the Santa Angelina Ranch entered into an agreement conveying a conservation easement to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD) with the goal of preserving these natural resources and the property’s historical values. The purpose of the conservation easement is “to preserve the agricultural, open space, natural and scenic values of the Property and to prevent any use of the property, other than agricultural, residential, recreational and other permitted uses, that will significantly impair or interfere with those values.”
The conservation easement is divided into two zones, Zone A and Zone B. Zone A surrounds a core of ranch buildings known as the “Ranch Compound”. It consists of 644 acres located northeast of the confluence of Briggs and McDonnell Creeks. Zone B consist of the remaining Property. Although many of the conservation easement provisions are the same in Zone A and B, the agreement is generally least restrictive in Zone A, where most of the property’s existing structures occur, and more restrictive in Zone B.
Within the conservation easement, additional development rights are provided. The agreement specifies that additional structures shall be permitted within Zone A, including two new residences with accessory structures. The agreement allows for access easements to be created throughout the Ranch (Zone A and B) to access these residences. Within Zone A, the agreement specifically allows for a winery and an equestrian center to be constructed, after obtaining appropriate governmental approvals and permits and after prior notice to the District. Also within Zone A, the agreement specifies that an existing trap and target shooting range, and a swimming hole, can be restored and maintained.
In general, within Zone B, additional non-residential structures may be permitted provided that the Grantor obtains prior written approval from the SCAPOSD. Additional fencing, cattle feeders, water lines, wells, water systems, septic systems, roads and similar non-structural improvements may be constructed and maintained in Zone B without prior approval from the SCAPOSD. Permitted and prohibited uses and practices as outlined in the agreement establish provisions for existing and new improvements in Zone A and Zone B.
The Santa Angelina Ranch is immediately adjacent to other significant open space properties, providing thousands of acres of additional protected land, including the McCord Ranch to the west and the Modini Ranch to the northwest, which are protected through conservation easements held by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD), and the US Bureau of Land Management properties to the north and east. Land stewardship on such an impressive scale is rare and absolutely breathtaking.