Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, Yountville embodies luxury country living at its finest. This peaceful and picturesque town of only around 3,000 is hailed as the culinary capital of California’s wine country, with more Michelin starred restaurants per capita than any other town or city in North America.
But there’s more to Yountville than its world-class restaurants. Spanning a mere 1.5 square miles, Yountville is a highly walkable community with an unmistakable small town charm, enhanced by gorgeous surroundings of mountains and vineyards. It boasts a lively arts and culture scene, festive events, and some of the best wineries in the valley. It was here where the first grapevines in Napa Valley were planted — a distinction the locals proudly celebrate to this day.
Yountville is surrounded by other wine growing communities, including the towns of Oakville and Oak Knoll, which border it to the north and south, respectively. California State Route 29 bisects Yountville, providing residents easy access to the rest of Napa Valley, as well as to Lake County to the north and to the San Francisco Bay Area to the south.
A brief history of Yountville
Yountville’s earliest inhabitants were Native Americans of the Napa, Caymus, Canijolmano, and Mayacama tribes. These peoples’ agricultural practices resulted in the valley’s open nature that eventually made it ideal for ranching.
Yountville was named after pioneer George C. Yount, who received an 11,887-acre land grant from the Mexican government in the 1830s. Yount was the first permanent settler of Napa Valley and the first to establish a vineyard in the area. He created the village of Yountville in the 1850s after California became part of the United States. The present day town also includes the former village of Sebastopol, which grew from a Mexican land grant awarded to Salvador Vallejo.
In 1884, Yountville became the site of Yountville Veterans Home, a care facility for elderly and disabled military veterans. When the town incorporated in 1965, the facility’s residents totaled around 2,600. Today, it is home to an estimated 800 veterans, making up almost one-third of the town’s population.
Throughout the 20th century, Yountville intensified its identity as a small-town agricultural community and a pillar of Napa Valley’s wine industry. In the 1970s, the establishment of the Domaine Chandon winery by French wine company Moët et Chandon, as well as the opening of the specialty shopping center Vintage 1870 (now known as The Shops at The Marketplace), firmly distinguished Yountville as a premier lifestyle destination in the region. And when renowned chef Thomas Keller took the helm of The French Laundry restaurant in the early 1990s, Yountville’s reputation as a culinary mecca began to emerge.
Homes for sale in Yountville, CA
Yountville is home to beautiful agricultural estates with acres of lush vineyards and exquisite mansions. The majority of homes here, however, are charming single-family properties with an average square footage of about 1,400. Yountville homes boast spacious yards and varied architectural styles, including Mediterranean, Craftsman, and contemporary.
Many properties are over twenty years old but have been kept in excellent condition over the years and updated with the latest features and amenities. Outdoor living spaces are a popular feature, allowing residents to fully enjoy the valley’s year-round sunny weather and stunning wide open spaces.
If you’re looking for a bargain or a great investment, you’ll also find opportunities for fixer-uppers and teardowns in some of the best locations in the valley. Condos, townhomes, and manufactured homes also make up a significant portion of the local real estate, providing a wide range of opportunities for buyers of various budgets and preferences.
With the town’s famous restaurants and wonderful attractions just within walking distance or a short drive away, properties in Yountville give you the best value that your money can buy.
- Condominiums, Multi Unit Residential, Townhouses
Condos, townhomes, and multi-unit residential homes have gained popularity in Yountville over the years. Found in newer developments, they boast all the luxury features you can ask for in a high end property, including distinctive architecture, spacious living areas, top-of-the-line finishes, and charming outdoor spaces. Popular community amenities include swimming pools, clubhouses, walking paths, and more.
- Mobile/Manufactured homes
If you’re in the market for a starter home or a cozier place to live in your golden years, these properties make excellent options. Square footages range from around 900 to over 1,500. As some of the earliest homes in the town, they come with great locations close to Yountville’s attractions and recreation destinations.
- Single-family homes
Yountville’s single-family homes come in a wide range of sizes and prices. From stunning estates to beautiful turn-of-the-20th century Victorian homes to contemporary houses in newer developments, there’s something to match the preferences of different buyers. There are properties that are over a century old, as well as a large collection of homes in planned communities built in the 1980s and onwards.
- Luxury homes
From gated vineyard estates to cul-de-sac homes in exclusive enclaves, high-end homebuyers will find a host of options in Yountville. Distinctive architecture, upscale finishes, expansive indoor and outdoor living areas, and stunning panoramic views are just some of the features you can expect from Yountville’s most upscale properties. Some of the most desirable neighborhoods include Heritage Estates, Oak Circle, and Vineyard Circle.
- Secondary/Vacation homes
A prized gem in Napa Valley, Yountville is the perfect destination for a quick getaway to California’s wine country. It’s no wonder a good number of homes in the town are secondary or vacation properties, and they range from exquisite country homes surrounded by vineyards to charming Craftsman cottages close to the town’s top culinary attractions. Investors will find plenty of opportunities in vacation rentals available for short or long stays.
- Wineries, vineyards, acreage
The most prized properties in Yountville are wineries and vineyards that produce some of Napa Valley’s best grapes and wines. Opportunities to invest in these properties are rare so available properties are snapped up fast. Your options include acres of high producing vineyards, as well as agricultural estates that come complete with luxury homes and amenities like swimming pools and outdoor entertainment areas.
- New construction
While most homes in Yountville are over 20 years old, you’ll also find new construction in recent developments like Vineyard Oaks, a builder community comprising eco-friendly homes in the craftsman style, and the more established Vintage Subdivision, a three-phase development featuring single-family homes and townhomes with customizable floor plans.
Living in Yountville, CA
General cost of living
The cost of living in Yountville is nearly twice that of the national index, and higher than the indices in California and Napa County. Living in Yountville, you get access to the finest things in life, from exquisite homes to destination restaurants. It’s no wonder it’s the choice of highly discriminating homeowners with an average household income of about $70,000, which is around 23% higher than the national average.
Employment and job opportunities
While agriculture certainly plays a significant role in Yountville’s economy, healthcare is the largest industry, with Yountville Veterans Home listed as a top employer. Wine producer Domaine Chandon also provides job opportunities to residents in the area, as do the numerous restaurants, shops, and recreation destinations found here. Other top economic sectors are professional services and transportation and warehousing.
Yountville’s Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing the high quality grapes used in Napa Valley’s world-famous wines. The town gets an average of 266 sunny days a year, with zero snow and about 31 inches of rain. Summers are cooler than most parts of California, with an average temperature high of 85.5 degrees F. Winters are mild with an average low of 37.8 degrees F. The changing seasons create a spectacular nature display throughout the valley, particularly in autumn when the grapevines burst into full color.
Yountville belongs to the Napa Valley Unified School District, which includes Yountville Elementary School, an above average school as rated by Niche.com. The school district also comprises 20 other elementary schools, seven middle schools, and seven high schools, many of which have received high ratings.
Yountville boasts a unique mode of transportation — the quaint Yountville Trolley, which operates on a fixed route within the town limits and serves the Veterans Home of California. The town is also served by the VINE 29 Yountville Commuter Express, which brings passengers to and from the Napa-BART Express station in El Cerrito del Norte.
Yountville residents can also take advantage of VineGo Paratransit Service, a shared ride service that takes eligible passengers from their homes or the nearest serviceable location to any destination within three quarters of a mile on a fixed route.
Cycling and walking are highly encouraged around Yountville. There are numerous trails in the town, including the Yountville Mile Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, the opening section of the Napa Valley Vine Trail.
Parks and recreation activities
Yountville is perfect for outdoor lovers. The town is home to several parks where you’ll find picnic spots, walking and biking trails, playgrounds, and other facilities.
You can also choose from a number of outdoor activities and events in the area, including:
- Play golf at Vintner’s Golf Club
Named one of the best golf courses in Napa Valley and in Northern California, Vintner’s Golf Club features a nine hole championship golf course that’s playable for all skill levels.
- Explore Wine Country on bike
- Go hot air ballooning
There’s simply nothing like drifting up in the air on a giant balloon and marvel at the wonderful rustic view below. Yountville and its neighbors are home to several hot air balloon ride providers, including Napa Valley Aloft, Napa Valley Balloons, and Balloons Above the Valley.
A culinary adventure in Yountville must always include Chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry, an award-winning French bistro that has put the town on the forefront of America’s culinary map. There’s also a host of other outstanding dining destinations in Yountville, featuring some of the best farm-to-table cuisine in the country. Restaurants you shouldn’t miss include:
Yountville is also home to wineries and wine tasting rooms, where you can not only sample some of the finest wines in the valley but enjoy amazing food and live entertainment, as well. Check out this page for an extensive list of the best places to visit in the town and the surrounding areas.
Shopping in Yountville is a far more relaxing experience than what you get in the big cities. The town’s main retail destination is The Shops at The Marketplace, formerly known as Vintage 1870, a picture perfect shopping center housed in a historic 1870s building that once served as the famous Groezinger Wine Cellars. Here, you’ll find high fashion boutiques, art galleries, and upscale home, garden, and bath products. It’s also home to a few restaurants, a wine tasting cellar, and picnic gardens.
Throughout the town is an eclectic array of independent shops where you’ll find everything from jewelry and fashion, to glassware and exquisite Panama hats. Yountville’s wine tasting rooms also feature shops where you can get not only the highest quality wines but gifts and other merchandise, as well.
Art, culture, and history are just as important in Yountville as its esteemed wineries and restaurants. Throughout the town, you’ll find a rich collection of art galleries, museums, theaters, and historic places. Yountville also stages memorable events all year round, celebrating its winemaking culture and artistic pursuits.
Among the top places and events to experience are:
- The Napa Valley Museum Yountville
- The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater
- Yountville Live and Taste of Yountville
- The Yountville Art Walk
- Yountville International Short Film Festival
- The Town Hall (formerly Yountville Grammar School)
Live the life you’ve always dreamed in Yountville, CA
Find the perfect home in one of Napa Valley’s premier communities with top Realtor Carolyn Roberts. A Napa Valley resident since childhood, Carolyn is a true expert in the lifestyle and real estate in California’s highly desirable and sought-after wine country.
With more than 40 years of experience and multimillion dollar sales, Carolyn has been designated a Previews Property Specialist, a recognition awarded to Coldwell Banker Realtors and brokers who have displayed impeccable proficiency in marketing luxury properties. Carolyn also has the distinction of being a Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI) and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS).
Having served generations of Napa Valley home buyers and sellers, there’s no one better to help you achieve your real estate goals in the area than Carolyn. Give her a call today at 707.953.1798 or send an email to CRoberts99@aol.com.