Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Developer Touts Wine-Country Living at Affordable Price

Developer Touts Wine-Country Living at Affordable Price
By Ines Bebea

FAIRFIELD - How do you spice up interest in a slow moving real estate market? By transporting prospective buyers to Spain's southern region of Andalucia, giving them a taste of wine country living from a local winery and fine cuisine during an open house.

At least that's what the Standard Pacific Homes developers will do with Ledgewood Creek Winery of Suisun Valley this Saturday.

"We are taking this approach because a lot of people outside of the area still don't know what Rancho Solano has to offer," said Amy Maley, director of marketing for Standard Pacific Homes. "It has a great quality of life, proximity to award-winning local wineries and the benefits of living in Fairfield."

The Andalucia community encompasses two neighborhoods called Marbella and Sevilla. When completed, it will have 217 homes. They have already sold 95 homes and have six available in both neighborhoods. This is not the company's first community in Fairfield. They've also built: Oak Crest at Rancho Solano, Oak Hills Classics, Oak Hills Estates and Sanctuary Valley.

Maley is confident the opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle of wine country living at an affordable price will attract buyers who want to invest in a home, while acknowledging the slow moving housing market.

According to DataQuick News, a company that monitors real estate activity nationwide, sales of homes in Solano County have declined by 36.4 percent, compared to the same period last year. In March 2006, there were 829 homes sold in the county, while only 527 homes were sold in March this year.

"Rancho Solano offers the kind of lifestyle and life that you would find in Napa, but without the prices," Maley said.

It also has wine. Ledgewood Creek wines have been recognized by the Orange County Fair Wine Competition, the California State Fair Wine Competition, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the Riverside International Wine Competition, just to name a few.

"We got involved in their promotion because you can see our winery from the houses they are building," said Rick Wehman, general manager of the Ledgewood Creek Winery. "Normally we wouldn't get involved in something like this, but we are in the same valley and I think this will bring new people to the vineyard."

The goal of the collaboration is to let people know about the quality wines being produced in Suisun Valley, and to get their name out more, Wehman added.

"We still get people who come to our tasting room, and are shocked about how good the wines are," Wehman said. "Many don't expect the quality from this area, and as they drive to their homes they can't miss us."

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or

At a glance
What: Taste of Rancho Solano
Who: Ledgewood Creek Winery and Standard Pacific
Where: Andalucia Development, German St. in Rancho Solano
When: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday May 5th. Open to the public
For more information:

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