The award-winning, family-owned winery in St. Helena stands out from its Napa Valley peers because it is one of the smallest fully permitted wineries in the area. “Fully permitted,” in the vernacular of this region, means the winery can legally grow its grapes, make its wine, and offer tastings to visiting wine lovers.
“The opportunity to purchase Seven Stones is a very rare one because applying for a fully operational winery permit on a similarly beautiful estate and then earning the stature already held by Seven Stones would take 10 to 20 years, if it could be achieved at all,” said Damian Archbold, who is co-listing the estate with Steve Mavromihalis, both of Compass Realty.
The estate, though considered small by Napa Valley standards, is generous. Its 45 acres rest behind the private gates of Meadowood, with rich soil of volcanic ash. Situated on a western slope, this location enjoys full sunshine during St. Helena’s hot days. “But there’s also the dynamic elevation change offered by the 600 foot elevation,” explained Mavromihalis. “On the same property, you’ll find mild and cooler temperatures,” offering ideal conditions for Seven Stones’ grape cultivation.
Seven Stones winemaker Aaron Pott is a celebrity in this region. “At this point in his career, Aaron does what he wants,” Mavromihalis said. “That’s why the wine is so good.”
Archbold agreed, adding, “This elite winery is on the doorstep of achieving ‘cult wine’ status with its limited release cabernet-focused Bordeaux blend, similar in award achievements to Colgin, Harlan and Screaming Eagle.” The cabernet — regardless of the year of its vintage — is highly sought. Sold out from the winery, it is available on secondary markets with an average price of $218 per bottle.
But there’s more to this property than the wine. The estate features a 6,600-square-foot main residence, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house with full kitchen, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom caretaker’s cottage, a barn and a workshop. There’s also extensive gardens and multiple patios, in addition to the coveted organic vineyard and winery. Plus, if the new owners wanted to grow the winery, they can: Seven Stones is in the approval process to double the size of its vineyard.
Currently, Seven Stones is owned by the Wornick family. Ronald C. Wornick, who died in 2021, founded the Wornick Company “which produced Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), a next-generation version of C-Rations, for the U.S. Military and revolutionized food options to servicemen in the field,” according to the Seven Stones Winery website. He was also a woodworker (he used the workshop on this estate).
Ronald Wornick and his wife Anita were avid, dedicated art collectors, “collecting master artisan pieces in the 1980s made from wood, ceramics, glass, fiber, and metal, creating one of the premier contemporary craft collections in the world,” the website says. Some of these works have been promised to museums, but several pieces are included with the sale of this property.
The three-bedroom, three full and two half-bathroom family home on the estate is itself a masterpiece. Designed by architect William Ming Sing Lee, an associate of world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the home’s curves and open spaces create a capacious gallery, displaying the artwork the Wornicks spent a lifetime collecting in full majesty. Features include soaring ceilings, huge windows overlooking the gentle slopes of the property, bedrooms that open to the outdoors, and of course, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar.