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Dream Homes for Golfers and Wine Lovers


If your idea of a dream home includes a combination of golf, nature, quality architecture and fine wine, there are master-planned communities around the world offering the best of all four.

“Some of the top golf clubs in the world also have some of the finest wine cellars,” said Greg Nathan, chief business officer of the National Golf Foundation.

Perhaps the combination shouldn’t be a surprise: The British Open’s coveted trophy is in the shape of a claret jug after all — traditionally used to serve Bordeaux wine in the 19th century. And top golfers like Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, David Frost and Luke Donald all have their own wine labels, said Paul T. Stringer, president of Nicklaus Design.

Here is a selection of lifestyle-driven communities tailored to bons vivants looking for world-class chipping and sipping in breathtaking settings.

Set in the Tuscan hills where the Medici family used to holiday, Toscana Resort Castelfalfi offers a taste of la dolce vita. The fertile 2,700-acre retreat is a patchwork of vineyards, olive groves, lakes and woodlands centered on a medieval village of stone structures outfitted with modern amenities.

“Unlike other golf-driven communities, this doesn’t have a suburban feel,” said Marco Boni, a homeowner who lives in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Six sites for villas overlooking the golf course start at 1.7 million euros (about $2 million) for a 2,580-square-foot property. New constructions (a rarity in Tuscany) must adhere to strict green-building codes. For those looking for a fixer-upper, 14 additional farmhouse ruins, some dating to the 15th century, are scattered throughout the property and are available for restoration. Refurbishment (conducted through the resort) costs about €740 per square foot. (Homeowners’ resort fees start at €4,000 per year.)

Two hillside golf courses span about 32,000 square feet across varied terrain. Designed by Wilfried Moroder and Rainer Preissmann, the 18-hole Mountain Course tests veteran golfers while the nine-hole Lake Course caters to beginners.

“If I didn’t play golf, I’d walk the course every day because the views are so visually arresting,” said Tim Wade, a homeowner who lives in London.

To enjoy the literal fruits of Tuscany, homeowners can adopt a row of grape vines or an olive grove to receive personalized bottles of wine or extra-virgin olive oil refined at the on-site organic winery. Homeowners also have exclusive access to wine tours, tastings and discounts on the resort’s various wine labels.

The 2,265-acre Val de Vie estate is in the heart of the vineyard-lined Paarl-Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape.

Pearl Valley, the residential development’s 18-hole golf course, was designed by Jack Nicklaus and has been consistently ranked a top course by Golf Digest magazine.

“It’s such a memorable course because the layout is challenging and the mountain backdrops are magnificent,” said Hein Koegelenberg, a resident of Val de Vie and owner of the on-site winery, L’Huguenot Cellar, which produces the estate’s five signature wines. Residents can also create their own wine blends at the winery; prices start at $700 per barrel.

While a barrel of wine will go a long way toward pleasing adults, Val de Vie also places a huge focus on family entertainment, said Mr. Koegelenberg, citing a list of kid-friendly facilities, including junior golf, tennis and equestrian academies, cricket, soccer, batting cages, polo fields, a wildlife camp and 26 miles of trails.

About 80 of the 1,700 lots are currently available. Homes feature French Provençal or Cape Vernacular styles with prices ranging from $250,000 for an entry-level 1,990-square-foot house to $5 million for a 15,000-square-foot home. Construction rates are about $100 per square foot, and monthly fees start at $225.

Near Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island is Jack’s Point, a 3,138-acre lakeside development at the base of the Remarkables mountain range.

Thirteen hundred lots ranging from 3,230 square feet to more than 12 acres have prices from 350,000 to 3 million New Zealand dollars (about $231,000 to $2 million), with construction costs starting at about 325 New Zealand dollars per square foot. (Homeowners’ association fees start at 3,500 New Zealand dollars per year.)

Thirty-six home sites with alpine and lake views are in The Preserve, a neighborhood fringing the 18-hole golf course designed by the project’s developer, John Darby.

“Our house is low-slung and built with local schist stone, dark-stained timber and a flat roof covered with pebbles to blend into the natural landscape,” said Jude Roberts, a full-time resident whose sun-drenched four-bedroom home overlooks the vista.

The developer said residents were attracted to Jack’s Point for its four distinct seasons and recreational facilities, which include tennis, water sports, 15.5 miles of trails, local golf courses and ski resorts.

Oenophiles can taste the terroir at Gibbston, a nearby wine-growing region famous for its pinot noir and home to dozens of wineries and wine cellars.

Algodon Wine Estates in San Rafael, Mendoza, has luxury vineyard living on a 4,138-acre estate planted with heritage vines, olive groves and fruit orchards at the foot of the Sierra Pintada mountains.

The region’s sunny climate is ideal for producing the estate’s signature bonarda and malbec wines, as well as playing its nine-hole golf course designed by Ricardo Jurado Jr., the grandson of the Argentine golf legend José Jurado.

More than 100 vineyard lots, some showcasing Spanish Revival homes, overlook the golf course. (Another nine holes with adjacent lots are in the works.) Home sites range from 21,527 square feet ($105,000) to almost seven acres ($785,000), with construction costs around $80 per square foot. Homeowners’ association fees run about $350 per month.

“I quickly realized I could get much more for my money in Mendoza compared to Napa, Tuscany or Provence,” said John Raffaeli, a homeowner and wine entrepreneur.

At the on-site winery, homeowners can create their own private-label in collaboration with the winemaker Mauro Nosenzo. Rates start at $2,900 and include the cost of labor, a new French-oak barrel and about 290 bottles of wine.

Further north in the province of Salta is La Estancia de Cafayate, a 1,360-acre residential vineyard estate in the Calchaqui Valley, a premier wine region known for its Torrontes.

The 400-lot development, featuring an 18-hole Bob Cupp-designed golf course, will debut 17 vineyard homes with rustic touches like terra-cotta roofs, wrought iron and verandas with typical Argentine grills. Prices start at $290,000 plus homeowner association fees.

“Cafayate is a quaint boutique-winery town — think Napa 50 years ago,” said David Galland, a homeowner and minority partner in La Estancia de Cafayate.

Predator Ridge, a 1,200-acre residential community featuring over 700 homes and fitness and wellness amenities in the lush Okanagan countryside of British Columbia, has attracted Canadians from across the country — in part because of its amenities, Rob Davidson, Predator Ridge’s vice president of product and planning, said.

“People buy our community before they buy a home,” Mr. Davidson said. “We have over a thousand community events every year that residents can participate in, from fitness classes to wine-pairing dinners, cooking classes and trail walks.”

Predator Ridge has 36 holes of championship golf, including the par-72 Ridge course designed by Doug Carrick that stretches 7,000 yards across rolling hills. The similarly sized Predator course features a par-71 Les Furber layout.

Homes in the Commonage neighborhood overlooking the Predator course have modern-ranch architecture, outdoor living areas and low-impact landscaping. Lots start at 270,000 Canadian dollars (about $202,550) for 7,405 square feet, with construction costs around 265 Canadian dollars per square foot. Homeowners’ association fees are about 200 Canadian dollars per month.

Wine lovers don’t have to drive more than 15 minutes along scenic back roads to sip varietals like pinot gris and pinot noir at a handful of more than 180 wineries peppering the surrounding Okanagan Valley wine region.

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