Robin Williams' Lingering Legacy: A Napa Valley Wine Estate

robin williams house napa valley
ZillowRobin Williams' custom-built mansion is set amid the vines of a working winery.
BAFTA Britannia Awards
APRobin Williams

The swirl of speculation that's followed the untimely death of Robin Williams has spread to his financial health at the time of the comedian and actor's suicide last week. And much of the attention has focused on a luxurious property in California's Napa Valley that he'd been attempting to sell since 2012. The 654-acre vineyard estate had recently returned to the market with a $5.5 million discount.

Williams originally priced the property located between the towns of Napa and Sonoma at $35 million, admitting that he felt that he could no longer afford it. Williams then took it off the market before relisting it in April at $29.5 million.

Although it's a working winery, the main house that Williams built on the property at the beginning of the century is anything but workmanlike, with the 20,000-square-foot custom-designed mansion being constructed of Portuguese limestone, and featuring an oak-paneled library, a climate-controlled environment for art and wine, and a bell tower.

And along with popular luxury amenities like a screening room and infinity pool at the five-bedroom, 12-bathroom, Mediterranean-style home, there's a guesthouse, a stable and a fishpond. The Zillow blog further reports that aside from the Sauvignon blanc grapes on its farm acreage, there's a grove of olive trees.

So was the estate that Williams dubbed Villa Sorriso (or "Villa of Smiles") an eventual sorrow for him?

Attorney Danielle Mayoras, co-author of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights, told ABC News that divorces had left Williams still rich in real-estate holdings but "cash poor." Forbes magazine, however, cited estimates that put his estate's net worth at the time of his death at $50 million, with $25 million of that in real estate.

Williams' publicist has discounted any claims that the entertainer was in any financial peril, declaring in a statement that those reports are "simply false," and saying of Williams decision to end his life: "I understand people's desire to try and understand this, but we would encourage your focus be on working to help others and understand depression."

As for the fortunes of properties like Villa Sorriso in the Napa Valley, some of the luster appears to have faded from owning a wine estate. The rich and picturesque agricultural region didn't escape the impact of Great Recession on property values: Real estate prices had skyrocketed there in the housing boom that preceded it, in part due to an influx of "gentleman farmers" like Williams.

And the bigger the properties are, the tougher they seem to be to sell. Former 49er football star Joe Montana slashed the price on his Sonoma County estate from $49 million to $35 million in 2012, after it had already lingered on the market for years. And the Robert Mondavi estate, originally listed at $25 million in 2010, was put up for auction at a starting bid of about half that 18 months later, and sold for an undisclosed price.

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Lookin for a chateau
Twenty-one rooms but one will do
I don't want to buy it
I just want to rent it for an hour or two
- Jerry Garcia -

August 22 2014 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Large house is ok. Being around some people that drinks is ok. Buying and living in a working wine estate is not SOBER THINKING. Love and Hugs to a great man.

August 22 2014 at 2:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Other than the pool area looks a little drab and one-dimensional, that looks like a nice house. Light airy colors, vinyard vistas, warm comforting colors. Williams knew a little about life and living. Doesn't sound suicidal. Is there a note ?
Or was he murdered ?

August 22 2014 at 11:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment

Robin Williams suffered from bouts of extreme depression and had just received the news he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He apparently couldn't handle the diagnosis and hanged himself while in his depressed state... It has been on the news for days.

August 22 2014 at 2:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to prosymom's comment

It was on the news, and so you believe it ?

August 22 2014 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Santi Carmona


August 22 2014 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Santi Carmona

Amazing property!

August 22 2014 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Santi Carmona

Amazing property!

August 22 2014 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

California on the Skids so sell while you can.

Big Cities falling apart and broke.

DEMS in a panic..................can't grow the Economy !

August 21 2014 at 11:54 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to frank1946's comment

You speak stupid very well!

August 22 2014 at 2:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Parkinson's is NOT a death sentence. MJ Fox has lived with it for what, 25 years?
It slows you down and have some good days and some bad. A lot of folks
have lived into their 80's mostly well functioning.
Hell, we all get old, I can't do what I did 20 years ago. My new crappy
job pays me half of what I earned 10 years ago! Every week is a struggle,
some bills will have to go unpaid and face late charges and bank
over draws. Still in treatment for depression and anxiety disorder.
I see a psych every few weeks and do talk therapy and meds, but only
goes so far. When u aren't making the money you deserve, it is
super stressful. Spent several years earning an A.S. degree that cost
me a fortune, and employers' don't give at rat's....
Sucks being a fifty something....
I might kill my self, but I an darned scarred of hell, Catholic upbringing....
Oh well, back to work tomorrow to face more sh!t than anyone deserves.

sad joe

P.S. And no, it doesn't get any better....

August 21 2014 at 11:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to grozbeek's comment

We all have problems, but we don't all let them define us. I'm 70+ and loving life!

August 22 2014 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to prosymom's comment

Good for you. I hope that you'll be substituting that 7 with a 9 20 years from now.

August 22 2014 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

How long before the California 'drought police' come for the contents of that pool?

August 21 2014 at 11:05 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Why didn't he just give it to Charity instead of killing himself!!!

August 21 2014 at 10:54 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ladyblue660's comment

He left it to his family...

August 22 2014 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply