This California vineyard and ranch owned by the late Lamar Hunt, American Football League pioneer and longtime owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, has just been put on the market for the first time by his widow, Norma Hunt, and is priced at $19.95 million.
The vast estate of one of pro football’s most important figures, the man who came up with “Super Bowl” to describe the NFL championship game, is for sale.
With the backing of his father, H. L. Hunt’s oil money, Dallas resident Larmar Hunt could easily afford to dabble in what he loved most - sports. In the late 1950s when baseball was America’s most popular sport and football’s popularity was just starting to warm, Hunt wanted an NFL franchise to expand the game but was turned down by the league citing danger of rapid growth. Disagreeing with this philosophy, Hunt joined with other investors who had also been turned down and formed a competing league, the American Football League. In time the two leagues merged, drawing huge attention to the sport. According to football legend, it was Hunt who came up with the name “Super Bowl” after watching his children play with the 1960’s popular toy “Super Ball.” Hunt didn’t stop with football. He went on to develop hockey, tennis, soccer and basketball teams, leagues and end-of-season championship games and has been inducted into multiple halls of fame. While actively molding the sports world, he was also developing amusement parks and an innovative underground shopping center. Baby Boomers will remember when he and his brothers cornered the silver market at the end of the 1970s, driving it to a meteoric price per ounce before finally crashing in 1980.
Lamar and his wife of 42 years, Norma, purchased 40 acres of land in Knights Valley, California, along the banks of Bidwell Creek in 2000. At the top of the Napa Valley, it was a perfect location to develop a vineyard with their preferred Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Their contemporary, 6,615-square-foot house was built that same year and the first block of Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in 2002. Named Bidwell Creek Estate and Vineyard, its label, Perfect Season Cabernet Sauvignon, has won critical acclaim from wine critics and collectors. Though Mrs. Hunt is selling the ranch and vineyard, she is retaining the label.
The Hunt home is designed for open-plan living, is bright and sunny with vaulted, beamed ceilings and glass walls that open to bring the outside breezes in. Views of the vines and surrounding mountains can be seen from every room with many rooms opening to the spacious wrap-around veranda. Stone fireplaces reaching to the rafters can be found in the main living area, master suite and the seating area next to the fully equipped outdoor kitchen. The home has three bedrooms, five baths, an office, gym, large kitchen with Viking range and a huge wine cellar perfect for hosting tasting events and displaying prized bottles.
On the market for the first time is the ranch and vineyard built and developed by the visionary sports pioneer Lamar Hunt before his passing in 2006. Conveniently located, it is only 20 minutes from the Sonoma County Airport and 10 minutes from shopping and dining in Calistoga. Priced at $19.95 million, the listing agent is Christine Krenos, Compass Realty, San Francisco, Beach Street office.
Photo credit: PR Photography.