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No Sour Grapes for Buyers of These American Vineyard Estates

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For those oenophiles who haven't been too hard hit by the economic downturn—or turned off by a mocking Charles Schwab TV commercial—the personal vineyard remains a desirable retirement goal. The romantic ideal is certainly alive in traditional American wine regions, like Napa and Sonoma, but there are eastern options too, including one small vineyard on New England's preppy Block Island. First, let's start with the classic, Napa, Calif., where this 30-acre estate offers almost 16 acres of "premium Cabernet." While the owner is waiting for the fruit, there's plenty of distraction in the swimming pool, tennis court, guest houses, and lush pool house. The Quinta de Pedras, as this vaguely Mediterranean-style estate is known, is listed for $13.75M.

? Just to the west of Napa, Sonoma, Calif. also boasts plenty of popular vineyards, so many that owning one shouldn't be a priority. This estate, called Villa Belvedere, is set up on a hilltop, with 360° views of the surrounding wine country. There's a pool, verdant gardens, huge glass walls to take in the view, and meticulously maintained outdoor entertaining spaces, but no worries about caring for the vines, for $4.5M.

? On the East Coast, there really aren't any wine producing regions that can match the star-power of Sonoma or Napa, but the North Fork of Long Island, thanks to a favorable climate and close proximity to wine-guzzling New Yorkers is high in the running. Palmer Vineyards, founded in 1983 by Robert Palmer, is now for sale in Aquebogue, N.Y. for $6.6M.

? Rhode Island is an even more unlikely place for a vineyard, but that hasn't kept this 169-acre spread in Little Compton, R.I. from asking $8.8M. The 36 acres of active vineyards host a number of varietals, including Chardonnay, Gewurtzraminer, Vidal Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Port grape, Chancellor. If the whole grape-growing thing doesn't work out, the buyer could try to subdivide the valuable waterfront property.

? If the last New England vineyard was unlikely, this one is the most downright strange locations to host a vineyard: windswept Block Island, R.I. The preppy outpost is popular with yachties—the gin and tonic set—but not so much with wine producers. At least the $4.7M oceanfront spread has more to offer than just the vines.

· Charles Schwab "Vineyard" [Vimeo]
· Quinta de Pedras [Christie's]
· Legs Lane [Christie's]
· Palmer Vineyards [Christie's]
· Sakonnet Vineyards [Lila Delman]
· Coast Guard Road [Christie's]