It all started in Montepulciano, a medieval, Renaissance town that dates back seven or eight centuries B.C. in the province of Siena, Italy, a quaint agricultural and winery town in southern Tuscany. About two hours away from Florence, the vast hills and countryside of Montepulciano are known worldwide for Vino di Nobile wine that was blessed long ago by the Pope and was known as the wine for royalty.
Nearby is The Church of San Biaggio, notable throughout Italy and more than 500 years old. And there, just down the hill from the church is a lovely 200-year-old Tuscan villa named Podere Concezione. Tucked into the lush hillside overlooking a beautiful vineyard and surrounded by the rural beauty of the region, this villa was one of the inspirations for modern-day “Villa in Pietra,” translated, the stone estate. The charm and Old-World beauty of the Tuscan villa in Italy was translated into this authentic, 10,000-square-foot custom estate home built on a generous site and in the hills of Silverleaf at DC Ranch’s prestigious Upper Canyon in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is available to own.
This luxurious estate home is both elegant and comfortable as centuries-old tiles, stone, wells and basins immerse you in Italian design influence, while other design decisions were made with modern materials to still reflect a Tuscan villa. We had the opportunity to experience it firsthand as we toured the home with the real estate team.
Upon entering this gated estate, guests notice an unusually expansive footprint on this hillside location. A generous motor court and six-car garage at the end of a long, paved driveway are among the largest in the area and impress automotive collector’s and entertaining hosts equally. “For car lovers, this home is one of the very few options for a six-car garage with lots of room in the motor court for additional parking and the ability to turn around, most impressive for this exclusive neighborhood,” says Frank Eyraud the listing agent along with Brian Culhane of Culhane & Eyraud Luxury Partners eXp Realty on this estate home situated on about 4.3 acres.
“When you arrive, you enter through the most exquisite courtyard experience I’ve seen. In fact the majority of this estate has French doors that open to the breathtaking courtyard, bringing the outside into the home in a stunning way,” says Eyraud, who pointed out the hundred-year-old antique doors that open into a Tuscan-inspired courtyard with imported 200-year-old stone pavers, and an imported vintage stone basin and stone well from 1806 that have been turned into fountains. The romantic courtyard boasts a beautiful tree in the center that shades the intimate seating area in front of the courtyard fireplace, one of 11 fireplaces on the property.
"You are immediately drawn to the amazing views of the rolling hills of Upper Canyon and to the Valley below, with city lights twinkling in the evening."
As you approach the front door of the home, you see a door that announces the European influence of the home. You enter into the Grand Room with more formal living and dining spaces set on herringbone-set stone with bookend limestone fireplaces that exude charm and elegance in a room with soaring ceilings. You are immediately drawn to the amazing views of the rolling hills of Upper Canyon and to the Valley below, with city lights twinkling in the evening. The panoramic outdoor living space overlooks a negative-edge infinity pool with arched water spouting from both sides.
Once on the patio, you notice how large the outdoor area is with a beautiful grass lawn, patios for lounges, a pool bath with outdoor shower, built in seating areas and of course, a fireplace. This outdoor space appears to be the perfect setting for a wedding or entertaining. Making that even better, off to the side is what feels like a secret path that leads you to a quaint chapel built by the original owners. Eyraud points out this sacred space has a meditative quality that would make it also great as a serene artist’s studio or a yoga retreat within a retreat.
Once back inside, the architectural piece d’ resistance is the cupola tower in the ceiling of the gourmet kitchen. Boasting a farm-style, the kitchen as everything from a six-burner stovetop to double dishwashers and a mesquite island with chocolate travertine countertops. The cook can never complain as some of the best views are found here. An informal family room and breakfast room are off the kitchen along with a very large butler’s pantry with enclosed cabinetry.
“As you move from the kitchen you really feel the indoor/outdoor living experience with an outdoor dining location and pass-through windows for the barbecue area,” says Eyraud.
Much of the home is Australian Sheep wood flooring with mosaic tiles and antique stone brought here from Italy. Even the roof tiles are imported from Italy. The entire home is finished with Venetian plaster and accent walls are made with cobblestones. Old-World lighting, hardware and fixtures are found throughout this authentic villa.
Moving from the kitchen, a stone-set staircase takes you to the upstairs family wing with a common entertainment area and four large bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms, walk-in closets and balconies with exceptional views. This side of the home offers access to the six-car garage with generous storage and a laundry room that would surprise anyone for its size and thoughtful usability with a wrapping table and individual lockers for family members. Nearby is an office for her with library shelving and elegant built in cabinetry. A second office with a more masculine feel is accessible off the courtyard without going into the house and offers similarly luxurious shelving and cabinetry.
This estate is an entertainer’s delight with a private, plush movie theatre and a gentleman’s billiard’s room with a bar and space to store trophies. Outside the home on property is a large sport court, a workout room with its own outside entrance and a detached two-story, one-bedroom guest house with a kitchen, full bathroom, fireplace, balcony and patio, all with amazing views of the Upper Canyon.
These amenities, of course are easily accessible from the glamorous master suite, which is a full retreat in itself. The large master bedroom is warmed by a beautiful fireplace and features a lovely sitting area to take in the views. The master bathroom is spa-like with an antique tub as the centerpiece, a multi-function shower and generous Italian limestone countertops inset with imported sinks and an outdoor garden shower. There are two very large, fully decked out, custom cabinetry master closets to make this Tuscan villa a home for a lifetime.
Designed by renowned Architecture Plus and built by North Peak Construction known for exquisite custom homes, the main house features five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, two powder rooms and one pool bath, with one more bedroom and one bathroom in the guest house.
When I completed what was a positively wonderful tour of this modern-day Tuscan villa reminiscent of my beloved trips to Italy, I asked Eyraud, “why here, why Scottsdale, why now?”
He said, “Our amazing year-‘round weather, low property taxes, ease of living and exclusivity of the Silverleaf community at DC Ranch makes this simply THE ONLY place to be. This is a one-of-a-kind property that can’t be replicated; the detailing of the home, the size and authentic feel of the estate, the amazing views and the accessibility of being in Silverleaf at DC Ranch allows you to revel in the beauty of Montepulciano for a very attractive investment level and without taking your passport out of your pocket.”
Produced in partnership with our friends at Culhane & Eyraud Luxury Partners eXp Realty. For more information on purchasing “Villa in Pietra” in Silverleaf at DC Ranch, click here.