It's no joke: Actor and comedian Robin Williams has put his 650-acre hilltop estate straddling Sonoma and Napa counties on the market for $35 million.
The gated property includes a 20,000-square-foot Italianate manor featuring a home theater, wine and art cellars and three "Kevlar-wrapped safe rooms," according to sales information.
Outside features include a 65-foot infinity-edge swimming pool, European stone decking and multi-tiered sculpture garden. The land includes 24 acres of premium vineyards, 100 olive trees and a spring-fed pond.
The ridgetop property, known as Villa Sorriso or "Villa of Smiles," is perched next to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and sits mostly in Napa County. Two of its six parcels are located in Sonoma County, according to sales materials.
Those who have seen the estate describe it as a "spectacular property" atop the Mayacmas Mountains, said Ross Liscum, a broker associate with Century 21 North Bay Alliance in Santa Rosa.
The home has been marketed privately for sale for at least a year, said Nicki Naylor, an agent with Alain Pinel Realtors in Sonoma.
Williams' property still doesn't appear on the regular multiple listing service, agents said Thursday. But it can be found on its own Villa Sorriso website.
Only a handful of such luxury properties are offered in Wine Country at any time, Naylor said. Two years ago, she represented the seller for the home that former Citigroup chief executive Sanford "Sandy" Weill and his wife, Joan, purchased near Sonoma for about $30 million.
Often, she said, sellers don't get their full asking price.
"Thirty-five million is a big ticket for that neck of the woods," Naylor said.
The agents representing the property, Tina Shone and Donald Van de Mark of Sotheby's International Realty in Sonoma, didn't respond to repeated requests for comment Thursday.
Williams, an Academy Award-winning actor with a knack for rapid-fire improvisation, appears to have purchased portions of the land in 1994, according to property records. The main white stucco home with limestone sills and copper gutters and downspouts reportedly was built in 2003.
The home's poolside entrance, built at the lower end of a hillside, features a striking double stairway leading to two stories above. A viewing tower of at least four stories is connected to the second story by a covered, arched bridge.
The sales information says the main residence has five bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.
The asking price includes a tennis court, seven-stall horse barn and a 3,000-square-foot property manager's residence, complete with its own two-car garage and in-ground pool.
Williams still appears to own at least one other piece of North Bay real estate, a home in Tiburon in Marin County, according to property records.
The actor isn't the only celebrity to place a high-priced Wine Country property on the market. Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana is still listing for sale his 9,700-square-foot Villa Montana outside Calistoga in Knights Valley.
Montana put the 500-acre property up for sale in November 2009 at $49 million. But he dropped the price last winter, and today it remains available for the same price as Williams' estate: $35 million.
Doug Swanson, a broker associate with Pacific Union International in Santa Rosa, said it often can take years to complete such luxury sales.
"You need the right buyer," he said. "The higher the price, the smaller the buyer pool."
Potential buyers must navigate some winding back roads to reach either property. Getting to Williams' estate requires going up steep-sloped Trinity Road, then following Wall Road beneath a ridge line that separates Sonoma and Napa counties.
As such, agents said, the home might better appeal to those seeking an occasional retreat rather than a principal residence. The number of such buyers may be small, they said, but they exist.
"It only takes one buyer with a boatload of money," Liscum said.
You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 521-5285 or robert.digitale@ pressdemocrat.com
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