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Napa Valley Chateau With Commanding Views Asks $17M

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Location: Saint Helena, Calif.
Price: $16,996,000
The Skinny: When the listing for Chateau Galatea says the home was inspired by Loire Valley chateaux, it means it literally: among the famous chateaux this Napa Valley home cribs from are Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, Chateau Le Lude, and Chateau Amboise. Here, the designers didn't stop at importing the style of the Loire Valley—they also imported the floors, doors, and windows from France, all by way of reclaimed-material design house Boiseries et Decorations. And it all mostly works. What could have come off as yet another modern French-inspired misadventure is actually relatively—if you can really use the term for a $16.996M home—modest. It's plenty big at 8,000 square feet, but not out of scale, and the large windows and coffered ceilings give the place a light and open feel. The only real missteps (allowing the designers a pass on building a chateau in the first place, of course) are outdoors, where a strangely out-of-place Grecian pavilion looms over the valley, and a fountain inspired by Exekias' famous amphora comes off more like "Achilles and Ajax at Spearfishing" than the original game of dice. But then there are the home's incredible views of the Napa Valley (and the 46 acres of vineyard-ready land) and in the face of that, ill-conceived Greek touches can be forgiven.

· 256 N Fork Crystal Springs Rd, Saint Helena, Calif. [Redfin]
· 256 N Fork Crystal Springs Rd, Saint Helena, Calif. [Homesnap]