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Location: Los Olivos, Calif.
The Skinny: This massive country estate in SoCal's Santa Ynez Valley turns up its nose at the Mediterranean architectural styles so prevalent in this corner of the world, and instead incongruously places a Southern-style plantation house smack dab in the semi-arid hills of wine country. The 10,000-square-foot home sits on an oddly sloping grassy hill that the Great Western Drought hath not touched (no doubt due to the liberal application of an unthinkable amount of sprinkled water), and is surrounded by the scenic grandeur of the mountains and the garishly green, meticulously mowed
18th green lawn. The apparent beauty of this kelly green patch o' grass amongst the sere, rolling hills is seemingly so moving that it inspired a particularly hallucinatory bit of brokerbabble that could just as well be describing the setting of a deservedly obscure British country house novel: "Immersed in a magical world of endless manicured lawns, serene waterscapes and majestic native Oaks, the great outdoors invite guests to bask in the tranquil silence, or indulge in the many activities and diversions." And then the schoolteacher kissed the vicar, etc., etc. The home's interiors are by Michael Smith, and are as effortlessly tasteful as you might expect from a master craftsman who has ascended to the position of designer to the White House—though the three Native American heads mounted on the billiards room bar are…unexpected. Property records indicate that the 250-acre equestrian estate is owned by Dark Knight and Man of Steel producer Charles Roven, who's asking $21.5M, representing a PriceChop of $3.5M from its initial January 2013 ask.