ONE LUXE Magazine IV

Page 36


Volume IV

Editor-in-Chief, CEO & Founder


Publisher and Chief Marketing Officer


Creative Directors



Editorial Writer


Lead Designer


ONE LUXE Director


Chief Learning Officer












To me, and to all the Realty ONE Group agents who are proud members of our brand’s luxury division, ONE LUXE is a promise resolutely kept and infinitely held. It’s the idea that every minute of your life should be spent experiencing whatever happiness means to you.

Maybe that plays out as a sun-drenched vineyard along the Central Coast of California, or a brand-new Park City estate with a rock climbing wall built for two. It could be a weekend ski getaway in Mammoth or a suburban Washington home you can convert into your own version of an extravagant B&B.

The truth is, ONE LUXE can be anything, and no matter how you define this happiness-filled good life of yours, what really matters is that you do.

Happy reading.

- Kuba





For the first-time Mammoth visitor, arriving in the California mountain town during the winter season is other worldly. The peaks of the High Sierras form a jagged skyline as the road ribbons around snow-patched terrain. With anticipation of hot chocolate and fresh snow, guests arrive ready to explore Mammoth’s winding pistes then relax by a crackling fire for an epic après ski.

But the perfect mountain experience doesn’t just unfold on its own. It takes dedicated hospitality professionals to tap into the majesty of Mother Nature, preserving its pristine beauty while delivering guests an unforgettable ride.

We spoke with the hardworking Mammoth Mountain Ski resort team to find out exactly how they answer when Mammoth Mountain calls.

What are some of the most luxurious lodgings visitors can book this season?

All of our luxury rentals can be found on our website – The Obsidian residences are located in a completely private, gated community and the Hillside Highlands Townhomes are adjacent to The Village, which puts you right in the heart of town.

What kind of unique amenities do these luxury rental properties offer?

Every property, with the exception of the Snowcreek units, has a private hot tub, garages, fireplaces, washer and dryer, large primary suites and gourmet kitchens with high-end appliances. Each property is a little bit different in terms of amenities but they are all luxurious. The gated, ultra-private Obsidian units overlook Sierra Star Golf Course. The Hillside Highlands Townhomes are also private and offer easy access to The Village and Gondola. In addition, our hotel concierge helps create a luxurious experience; they can arrange for guests to enjoy a catered dinner by a private chef, book attractions and make other reservations. We can have groceries in the unit before the guest arrives, and shuttle service and private ski lessons are available as well. Media rooms can be reserved at some residences for those who can’t fully escape their responsibilities back home.

Are there any specific programs, excursions or locales that cater to a luxury mountain experience?

We offer Pinnacle Days, which allow you to create an ideal itinerary working directly with one of our expert planners, who will pair you with the perfect instructor or guide for your day, Reserved VIP parking, demo rental packages, zero lift lines and an awesome lunch setup … and those are just a few of the things we add in to take your day from good to unforgettable!

What’s the secret sauce that drives the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area team?

We’re a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about the outdoors, action sports and guest services. The entire team works together with one goal in mind – letting fun rule. From skiing and snowboarding to snowmobiling to tubing to après, there is something for everyone with the ultimate goal of enjoying the outdoors.

Have you noticed over the years an increasing emphasis on the value of high-end experiences and a more luxurious lifestyle for guests?

Definitely. Because of our close proximity to Southern California, Mammoth is the perfect weekend destination for luxurious experiences. As a team, we’ve put a focus on developing an incredible luxury trip for our guests who want VIP treatment without the pressure of planning it themselves or thinking about the little details. From stellar rental units to incredible snow adventures, we offer something for everyone to enjoy and private options for everything.

The entire team works together with one goal in mind: letting fun rule.

And what makes Mammoth so appealing to these VIP guests?

In general, VIP guests who stay in the luxury homes tend to value privacy. Because we are so close to Southern California, we have a ton of celebrity guests who come up for a long weekend. They just want a beautiful home to stay in and an easy planning experience. Whether they fly or drive up, everything we provide is turnkey. The homes are a special place for families because they are very spacious and there’s a lot of room to let kids play while still having private space for the parents.

Can you describe the ideal luxury ski or snowboarding trip in Mammoth?

It’s one where you do it all. It’s a stay at Obsidian accompanied by reserved lunches at Parallax daily. It’s booking two days with a Pinnacle planner to get the ultimate luxury experience from front of the line access to a dedicated guide. You’d reserve a private snowmobile adventure tour, snowcat tour, and private cross country ski lessons at Tamarack Lodge. Complete that with dinner at one of our high-end restaurants in town and you’ve got the ultimate trip to Mammoth!

Local Favorites


• The Lakefront Restaurant

• Convict Lake Resort

• The Brasserie

• Skadi


• CHATO Boutique

• Blake DeBock Gallery

• Wave Rave Snowboard Shop

• Footloose


• Mammoth Rock n’ Bowl + Golf Simulator

• Double Eagle June Lake

• Simply Massage Body Boutique




In Park City, Utah, there are three names synonymous with luxury new homes: Casey Jones, Solim Gasparik and Michael Sapp. Jones is the broker/owner of Realty ONE Group Goldmark and Sapp and Gasparik – a developer and an architect, respectively – are his partners. Together, they form a trio so inventive, so skilled and so attuned to the needs of luxury homeowners in the fabled resort town, they aren’t just following new home trends, they’re setting them.



A four-story, steel spiral staircase with an elevator inside? Check. Indoor glass climbing gym cantilevered over a ravine on the property? Check. A floating bridge connecting the main home to the guest house? Absolutely.

A 40-acre property with a linear, one-story home the size of a football field? Check, check, check.

Jones, Gasparik and Sapp are defining what’s possible in Park City, and doing it with a mind toward creativity and preservation of the land and its residents. “We’ve put the broker, architect and the builder all under one roof,” Sapp says.

“We can assist someone in buying land and building new, buying an existing home and tearing it down to start over, buying an existing home and renovating it … what we have is really unique and it’s something that’s never been done before in Park City.”

Sapp describes Park City as a “boom market,” where people from all over the country –California, Texas, New York, Florida – are drawn to the mountains as they create a new home.



“For the longest time, our market was a second-home or even third-home market,” Sapp says. “While you’ll still find that here, in the past two to three years, we’ve seen more and more people who are looking to live in Park City yearround.”

The winter sports lifestyle is definitely part of that allure. “We have some of the best skiing in the country,” Jones says, but there’s another more surprising element that’s been a major contributor to Park City’s recent popularity: the airport.

“Our international airport, which is about 35 minutes from Park City, underwent a major renovation and expansion to the tune of $2 billion or more,” Sapp says.

“The convenience of a modern, international airport with flights all over the world is bringing people who normally might have looked for homes in Colorado to Park City instead.”

Of course, the amenities are world-class, and for the avid skier, Park City provides a perfect locale to savor the winter resort lifestyle with prices that aren’t too expensive compared with other ski destinations in the U.S. In the highest-priced Park City areas, building a new home can cost upwards of $2,000 per square foot but it typically hovers between $600 to $1,000 per square foot, the Realty ONE Group Goldmark partners explain.


Part of that price is paid in pristine power. “Park City Mountain is a major skiing destination,” says Jones, noting that the second-largest ski resort in America is located in Park City, and it covers 7,300-acre, featuring more than 330 trails.

While ski industry growth has somewhat plateaued, Park City is bucking the trend. A new 6,800-acre ski resort called Mayflower Mountain Resort just launched in the area. North of Mayflower Mountain is the Wasatch Peaks Ranch Club, a private membership ski resort known for its private 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed golf course and world-class amenities.

“When visiting Utah, you’ll also find several spectacular national parks – like Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park,” says Jones. “We have monuments, landmarks, natural forests, lakes, state parks and millions of additional acres of open spaces with no official designation.”

Jones points to incentives like high quality of life, low crime and tax benefits – Utah has a flat state income tax below 5%, low property taxes and no estate tax – as helping to create a strong Park City pull.


In addition to these lifestyle perks, a renaissance in all things wellness has heightened the desire to live in Utah and be among its vast natural beauty. “It’s easy to participate in a healthy lifestyle whether hiking, mountain biking or running through a Park City trails system that is so extensive, it leads to almost every community in the area,” Sapp explains.

And for those who want their own paths, the Realty ONE Group Goldmark team can forge it.

“We’re currently building a house on 14 acres and creating a nature trail for the home owners so they can be among the wildlife – the elk, deer, moose, mountain lines, rabbits, the birds,” Sapp says. “Making that connection with the natural environment is such a key component to Park City living and it’s something people may not even know they’re seeking until they find it.”




“In terms of trending materials, what I’m seeing right now is a ton of glass because glass is the guiding principle to capture views,” says Sapp. “When we use glass, we end up with a lot of steel supporting the building’s high structural integrity that needs to be there for heavy snow loads with high winds.”


“We do a lot of natural elements on the outside of the building – natural stone, wood, and metal detail, with a lot of zinc in particular,” says Sapp. “Those materials help achieve the modern yet warm element homeowners are seeking in a mountain home.” For the interiors, Sapp explains the natural theme is carried through in warmtoned hardwood floors, wood doors, wood ceiling beams, wood cabinets and natural stone countertops made from materials like Quartzsite, which Sapp says is a go-to for everyone at the moment not only in kitchens but also for fireplaces. “There’s almost a Swedish feel to the design,” he explains – natural, minimal and clean. “We also do more of a character grade hardwood floor, where you’re seeing some of the character of the wood –the knots. It’s natural looking functional; you don’t notice a dent or ding from dropping something on the floor.”


“Everything is about the clean look now,” says Sapp. “We’re working with a very refined design, brighter colors and lighter-toned woods. For walls, it’s almost a museum-style drywall in a warm white and smooth texture. People are definitely steering clear of the grays.” And Jones agrees that color is in. “More colors, textures, and patterns are going into a luxurious trend home for tile floors, wallpaper and cabinets. It can feel nerve-racking to use color and pattern, but it can add so much character and charm.”


“House sizes were trending down slightly but since Covid, house sizes have gone up,” says Gasparik. “People are building bigger homes than they were in 2019. Homes here used to be 6,500 square feet, now they’re 7,500 square feet to 8,500 square feet.”


“We’ve been getting a lot of requests for two legit offices,” explains Gasparik, who says it’s no longer enough to create a dedicated office space in a kitchen or living room; now, people want two rooms that are actual offices.


The architecture is where it all starts,” says Sapp. “Once you have a site with views of the mountain then it’s about finding an architect who knows how to design a high-end, functional floor plan that flows seamlessly from inside of the house to the outside of the house. When you achieve that right flow, you’re encouraged to go outside and explore.”


Gasparik describes four-car and five-car garages as the new norm. “It used to be three car garages but they’ve gotten larger,” he says.


“Everyone’s wanting an exercise room and home theaters are making a comeback,” says Gasparik. He says other recent requests include a golf simulator room, and whiskey and cigar rooms.


“We do a lot of guest suites,” says Gasparik. “And everything is en suite.”



“One particular feature we have seen more of this year is the built-in pet washing station,” says Jones. “Some people will dedicate an entire room to their pet’s grooming needs while others will put a pet bath in their mudroom or bathroom. No matter where it is located in your home, it can add some major convenience to your life, especially if your pet tends to get into messy situations on the regular.”


Says Jones: “A luxury feature that comes recommended to homeowners is heated flooring in the bathroom or other tiled spaces in the home. Tile can be cold under the feet, so adding the heating feature can make your life that much better,especially if you live in a cold climate.”


In kitchens, the design is once again clean and minimal, with everything hidden behind storage shelves and closets, and floating shelves in the kitchen, purely for display. “If you aren’t building new but want to redo a home and get the most return on your investment whenever you eventually sell, redo the kitchen,” explains Sapp. “People don’t get away from the kitchen; it’s the entertainment space and the place everyone congregates when they gather inside your house.”


“Waking up and going to bed enjoying a mountain view is the number one most uplifting thing you can do,” says Sapp. “Beyond that we’re building mediation spaces or cold plunge pools … in one house the entire lower level is a spa with massage treatments, an infrared sauna and pulsing electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy beds.”


Today, it’s about being healthy in mind, body and home. Sleeping areas can have a “kill switch” that instantly shuts off Wi-Fi and power for a truly deep, restful sleep. Lighting can be adjusted to circadian rhythms, and healthy materials can be used throughout the home that won’t give off harmful emissions to its inhabitants.


It’s not a spa, it’s not a pool … it’s a spool! “We build a lot of ‘spa baths’ that are larger than a hot tub but smaller than a pool,” says Gasparik. “Usually these spools will have access to a sauna or steam room and probably a small powder room plus an outdoor shower, towel storage, and a room to hang up robes and slippers – homeowners very much want that spa-like vibe right now.”


KEVIN Agent Spotlight


It started with a referral.

Kevin Zellmer, owner and managing broker at Realty ONE Group Enterprise in Bothell/ Eastside and Lake Chelan, Washington, connected with a client who, as it turned out, had no idea just how perfectly suited for the job he’d be.

She was a professional chef in need of a commercial lease for her fast-expanding cooking empire. He was a real estate agent with a long career sparkling in hospitality highlights.

“I worked for Embassy Suites, Hilton, Starwood, Hotel Monaco in Seattle, private golf clubs, five-star hotels, top restaurants,” Zellmer says, rattling off famous hotel names like the ingredients to a prized recipe. “The client who referred me only knew I liked food and beverage, and this new client was a professional chef. She wanted space to open a retail shop and HGTV-style cooking school.”

So that’s how the story started – with a simple referral – and while it would end with a 7,000-square-foot Tudor Castle in Kent, Washington, (just outside of Seattle) it’s the middle part where the real (estate) mystery unfolds.

Zellmer arranged to meet with his new client, Christina Arokiasamy, a Malaysian-born award-winning cookbook author, former chef of various Four Seasons Resorts throughout Southeast Asia, and the first-ever Food Ambassador to the United States.

“I have an idea,” he told her, after learning the details of her particular culinary query, which also included the need for enough room to house a cook-your-meals-with-the-chef B&B. “We could look for a commercial space, but do you really want to have that downtown lease? Pay for the infrastructure and equipment? And can we even guarantee there’ll be enough space for everything you want to do?”

Owner & Managing Broker, Realty ONE Group Enterprise

The answers were unknowable but Zellmer had already decided to ask a different kind of question. “What if we go in another direction?” He said to Arokiasamy. “What if instead of commercial space, we look for a very large home with a daylight basement, separate entrances, big enough to live your life in one area and operate your business in another? It would have to be a special kind of house to work for you but I’m confident we can find it.”

She agreed. No harm in trying.

Then Zellmer’s search began. He weeded through the available Greater Seattle inventory: 4,500+ square feet. (Or more.) A fixer upper. (Absolutely.) Three stories. (At least!) Extra bedrooms. (To convert into that B&B.) A daylight basement. (Additional space.) A large yard with plenty of land. (For outdoor tented food soirées, naturally.)

After an exhaustive online hunt, Zellmer thought he’d found The One, a historic Tudor in Kent, Washington, about 20 miles south of Seattle. The property sat on almost an acre of land, with 4,650 square feet of living space plus a 2,090-squarefoot partially finished basement. It had seven bedrooms and four bathrooms, with stained glass windows and a soaring 20-foot ceiling in the family room. By all accounts, it could be Chef Arokiasamy’s massive cooking headquarters. If only his client saw the vision, too.

It would have to be a special kind of house .to work for you but I’m confident we can find it.

“I’ve got it,” he told Chef Arokiasamy and her husband, excitedly sending the listing their way.

“Kevin …” she said, and a 7,000-square-foot-sized pause followed.

“Yes?” He asked. “What do you think?”

“I think it’s awful.”

Zellmer wasn’t surprised; he practically knew she’d say that. “Exactly! Let’s take a tour!”

Off they went to Kent – the agent, his culinary client and her husband – and stepped inside the Tudor as rapidfire conversation followed the gargantuan property’s every twist and turn.

“The house is terrible ...”

“I know!”

“It is big …”

“Very big. And you could knock down the walls …”

“We could put the B&B upstairs here …”

“Give it a new exterior …

“Add space over the garage …”

“Have a separate entrance for students and a basement that leads to the large grounds …”

Slowly, as Zellmer described the possible renovations, and Chef Arokisamay agreed, the vision came to life. He could see it. His clients could see it, too.


Over the next two years, the house underwent a massive renovation. “They basically decided to tear everything out and completely gut the home,” says Zellmer. “They created a gorgeous commercial kitchen and pantry that’s so thoughtfully laid out, you could have Food Network come in and film Emeril cooking there any day. The kitchen has two dishwashers, an eight-burner stove, a mini oven, and drawers specifically built for knives, bowls … it’s really a masterpiece.”


Among the many, many changes made to the home, Chef Arokisamy and her husband added Brazilian walnut hardwood floors, Bedrosian Italian floor in the primary bathroom, Bisazza luxury Italian wall tiles, Holly Hunt English woven wallpaper, handmade Ambiente European Tile in the kitchen, a Chihuly hand blown glass pendant lamp over the kitchen island, a luxury Cambria Bently kitchen island with a waterfall edge, and William Morris and Sanderson English wallpaper in the living room.

Then, to complete the breathtaking transformation, Chef Arokiasamy traveled to Bali and bought a dining table, light fixtures, wood furniture and had it loaded up into shipping containers and sent back to her house in Kent. In the end, about three quarters of the furniture in the home arrived on a 40-foot shipping container straight from Bali. The result was a Balinese resort-style relaxed elegance that emanated from every corner of the interior spaces.

When Chef Arokisamy called and said, “Kevin the home is done, come see it and let’s eat!!” He didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation.

“When I saw the finished house, it was more magnificent than we first envisioned!” he says.

“After seeing all that work completed, I realized more than just a magnificent showcase home, it was a Balinese cooking castle.”

Zellmer says the property is not only more functional but also exponentially more valuable. “They bought the home for under $600,000 and with the extensive changes they made, it’s worth well over $2+ million today,” he explains.

And to think, everything began with a referral.

“From that first meeting, sensing her passion, I knew right away that a cold storefront would never come close to capturing what she really needed for her business,” Zellmer explains. “I could have easily said, ‘OK, let’s go with a commercial space,’ but my experience told me that just wasn’t the right way to go.”

Zellmer still visits his client and even took her popular cooking class, but he says the real moral of this culinary fairy tale isn’t about the castle they ultimately constructed or how perfect it is for her courses, shop, events and B&B. “This is a story about possibilities,” he says. “It just goes to show, with a little imagination, anything is possible.”


Sweet Potato Donuts with Palm Sugar

Recipe - Serves 6


400 grams of yellow or orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

1 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 cups of canola oil for frying

8-ounce palm sugar, chopped

½ cup water


1. Scrub the sweet potatoes clean under running water. Place the sweet potatoes in a pan and fill to cover generously with water. Boil on medium heat until tender, test by inserting a bamboo skewer into the thickest part of the potato, it should go through without resistance after about 20 minutes. Remove the sweet potatoes from the water and allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well.

3. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skins. Pick out any tough fiber and discard. Use a potato masher and mash until free of lumps and smooth.

4. Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the flour and knead into a smooth dough. Dust some flour on your hands (this will prevent the dough from sticking) take a small piece of dough (the size of a lime) and roll into a smooth ball using both your palms. Flatten the ball slightly and make a hole in the center with your finger or a floured wooden spoon handle. Using your fingers, lightly pat the outer edges and the edges around the hole to form a smooth round doughnut. Place the doughnuts on a clean cloth over a cutting board or a tray until ready to fry. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

5. Heat oil in a small wok or pan over medium heat. Carefully place three doughnuts at a time into the wok, reduce the heat to medium low and fry until golden underneath then flip and fry until golden brown, about seven minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat until all the doughnuts are cooked on medium low heat. Allow to cool.

6. Bring palm sugar and half cup of water to a rapid boil in a small wok or saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the sugar is completely melted. Then continue to simmer until the sugar thickens to a caramel like consistency.

7. Add the cooled doughnuts (if the doughnuts are not cool they won’t coat well) and dip them into the palm syrup, tossing them working quickly to coat before the sugar hardens. Serve immediately.

Explore more of Chef Arkiasamy’s recipes at !



400 Central Ave St. Petersburg Developer: Red Apple Group


In an industry where innovation is a fast-moving target, with the volatility to slide in mere seconds from trend to trite, it can be tricky to identify the proptech companies that are truly ahead of the curve.

Enter: Evolution Virtual, a team of 75 artists, designers, technologists and real estate professionals taking what we know about the application of 3D technology in luxury real estate and turning that on its head. Led by CEO Jonathan Oleinick, whose resume includes impressive accomplishments at NASA, Intel, Goldman Sachs, Precision Therapies and Eli Lilly, Evolution Virtual is the future of 3D experiences. And with billions in luxury real estate marketed by the team, it’s easy to see why the future of 3D is now.

Can you tell us a little more about your background and what’s happening at Evolution Virtual today?

OLEINICK: My experience is originally as an MIT computer scientist and about 12 years ago, I started this company. Since then we’ve worked with 700 new development projects around the world and we’ve helped our clients sell and market about $200 billion in luxury properties. At any one given time we work on more than 50 different projects.

As an example, we work with 220 Central Park South, which is one of the most expensive buildings in the world – on average it’s about $10,000 per square foot.

Since the pandemic, virtual has had an incredible impact on real estate interactions. What are you seeing now in terms of how top agents are using virtual reality to market properties and interface with clients?

Since the pandemic, people have become more and more reliant on a virtual means of presenting new developments with better visualizations and a lot more technology. And when I say ‘technology’ I don’t mean Vitual Reality. Though VR is tremendous and has a lot of potential, it’s not quite there yet for people to really walk around and explore a property without a fairly high percentage of them getting sick. VR tech is quite close, and I’d say maybe in the next 12 to 24 months when Apple comes out with a lighter headset, great advances will happen but we’re not there yet. Today, we see people trying on these VR headsets and saying, ‘This is fantastic but is there any way we can do this without putting on the headset?’

400 Central Ave St. Petersburg Developer: Related Midwest.

And can they?

They absolutely can. We’re introducing very big, curved screens that allow for visuals to be in 3D on the screen – like a 3D movie – and it’s an alternative to putting on that heavy headset. We install these massive, ten-foot screens in offices and sales centers worldwide for agents and their prospective buyers to truly ‘walk through’ a new property at life-sized scale.

I think there’s a big misconception that technology is replacing the real estate agent. How do you reconcile the relationship between real estate and technology?

Real estate technology is about that handshake between people. It allows you to strengthen a relationship by doing something you couldn’t do without the assistance of technology, like be in the presence of somebody without being in the presence of somebody. Using our tech, for instance, you’re standing, let’s say, in a conference room, and a client is looking at you on a big screen, and you’re lifesize to them and they’re lifesize to you. You’re seeing each other as if you’re in the same room but you’re not. You’re hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

That level of connectedness is what people are looking for in real estate technology and it’s the balance of high-tech and high-touch that makes it all work.

What are some trends you’re seeing in luxury real estate developments?

Resort markets are trending on the new development side and that’s where a lot of our projects are happening. We’re working with Montage in Big Sky, Limelight in Mammoth, three different developments in Turks and Caicos, all of these destination locations where luxury buyers have an overwhelming desire to purchase highend residences and live the resort lifestyle.

We also see a demand on the agent and developer side for better technology, to be able to reach out across the country and connect with a buyer in New York who wants to buy in Big Sky or someone in San Francisco who is interested in Mammoth. Through visualization technology, potential buyers are able to be there without really being there. Buyers and agents can share those experiences of being at the development in a very simple, straightforward way that creates a powerful experience and even drives people to purchase property sight unseen.

Ritz Carlton Residence Developer: Catalfumo Companies

Is buying property sight unseen typical for these developments you work with?

High-quality 3D visualizations can really drive conversion but what they’re more likely to do is get a prospective buyer to become more engaged because they had such a great experience with the property pre-visit. Then, once they touch down in Turks and Caicos, they can go to the beach and do whatever it is they want to do, but they make it a point to visit the development because of the experience they had when they were able to virtually visualize the property.

It’s funny though because this technology has existed for quite some time but the demand wasn’t there. Developers a few years ago were still saying, ‘Yes, you can do a few sales online but most of the properties are sold in the sales center.’ It was an old-school mentality and the pandemic forced something that was going to take another 10 years – all these technologies that were already available – to the forefront because for a while it was the only way. People were not walking into sales centers, so virtual became the preferred mechanism, which propelled this kind of technology forward very quickly.

Do you think luxury development sales practices will ever go back to that old-school mentality?

No, because people had these fantastic experiences with the tools that are available now. Developers today make sure that even if the final sale doesn’t come fully from virtual visualizations, this tech initiates the conversation and that is a very powerful thing. Then when the buyer does go down to Big Sky or Turks and Caicos or the Bahamas or Vail or Aspen, they might have a lot of ways to fill their time but they’re going to make sure checking out that property they virtually toured is on the list. One of the major benefits of virtual touring is pre-selling, and it generates much more meaningful conversations when the buyer does step into the sales center.

What do you see for the future of virtual technology in real estate?

I will say in general we are pushing heavily towards a desire to have an enhanced virtual tool that can bring a buyer as close to the experience of inperson as possible, like the buyer is standing there at the property with the agent. It could happen through new developments in VR headsets and these lifesized projections we’re doing. Ultimately, it’s about connecting and creating an experience. Luxury buyers demand such a high level of service because that’s what they’re accustomed to getting when they buy a Cartier watch or a Bentley. Luxury agents and luxury developers have to be able to meet and in many cases, exceed those other brands’ customer experiences. It’s not easy but part of that happens with connection and bringing people together over long distances through a screen and very good tech.

High-quality 3D visualizations can really drive conversion but what they’re more likely to do is get a prospective buyer to become more engaged because they had such a great experience with the property pre-visit.



Tasting Notes California’s Luxury Wines

Wine, it’s been said, is like poetry. Every bottle reflects the unique rhythm of its terroir, soil and grapes, with verses that chronicle the delicate struggle of its vines.

But it’s one thing to savor the poetry of a Pinot Noir and another to chat with its poet, so on a mission to learn more, we decided to do just that.


Beckman Vineyards

What is biodynamic farming and how does it help bring a luxuriousness to the wine?

Biodynamic farming means lavishing the grapes with attention and hands-on care. This system of agriculture requires you to shape your environment to make plants happy, sometimes at great expense and sacrifice. By doing things like cultivating biodiversity and farming according to the phases of the moon, we think of what makes the grapes happy before anything else because pampering the grapes is the best way to make a wine luxurious. Wines with heavy glass bottles and high prices that don’t treat their grapes luxuriously are missing the fundamentals. It’s like if a hotel has a beautiful lobby but dingy rooms with uncomfortable mattresses. The luxuries that we provide the grapes pay off in the bottle and make for richer wines that age longer and evolve in wonderful ways.

How would you define a “world class” wine?

“World class” implies that your product can compete with any in the world. To make such a claim, you need to be as good as any competitor but in your own way. Our Syrah wouldn’t be world class if it weren’t a true representation of the Ballard Canyon AVA, and if Ballard Canyon weren’t a special site for the grape. If you plant the right grape in the right place, such as Ballard Canyon Syrah, you have the opportunity to make world-class wine, because you offer something special to the world of wine. Syrah grown in lesser sites wouldn’t stand up to the greatest in the world, like those from the Northern Rhone or the Barossa Valley of Australia.

It’s incredible that the vineyard was planted around the oak trees, instead of just uprooting them to grow grapes. In another story in this magazine, we spoke with a luxury home builder in Park City who talked about a similar approach - how when he works on a home he really wants it to blend with the environment and not hamper it in any way. Can you explain a bit more how this preservation/sustainable ideology plays into the wines you produce?

A family-owned vineyard and winery in Santa Ynez Valley California that crafts high-end Rhône wines from estate grown, biodynamic grapes. Marketing Manager Trevor Hagstrom eloquently described what makes Beckmen Vineyards wines so special.

Biodiversity is a key component of biodynamic agriculture. While there are some pests that we want to keep out of our vineyards, (which we do using natural methods, never chemicals), most life is welcome in the biodynamic vineyard. A mighty oak tree might seem like it’s in the way for grape growers that only consider high yields, but if you think of all the shade, wisdom, and inspiration that such a large and old plant provides for the surrounding vineyards, it is a gift from nature.

As an estate grown winery, you produce wine from your own vineyards. Do you think that’s one quality separating an ordinary wine from an extraordinary wine?

For us, it’s incredibly important. There are more wines out there these days that are made with purchased fruit, or, worse yet, fruit from anonymous sources. Being farmers first means that we have control over every decision from when a vine is first planted until the wine goes in the bottle. This allows us to make wines with greater intention, and our knowledge of the land and the vines give us insight into the winemaking that would be otherwise missing.

What are some food-and-wine pairings you recommend for an important celebration?

Our Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are produced in a rich, opulent style with enough tannin and acidity to make them food friendly, which is why they’re natural partners for over-the-top, multi-course meals. Syrah is considered a perfect match for lamb, and a winter centerpiece like a frenched rack of lamb, would be a superb pairing. Our biodynamic Purisima Mountain Vineyard in Ballard Canyon creates a Syrah with a natural savory, gamey quality that features well with the richer game meats that some might serve on the holidays, such as goose, grouse, or elk. The rich fruity notes make it powerful enough to stand up to a sweet and salty glazed ham with scalloped potatoes.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a natural partner for beef, and we love a whole roasted tenderloin of beef for a luxurious celebratory meal. Our Cabernet is relatively easy-going as far as big luscious without being too tannic and providing only a gentle earthiness, so you can have a few glasses alongside a bounty of hearty sides such as roasted vegetables or sauteed mushrooms.

Tell us about a special time for you and your team at the vineyard.

The holidays are a big celebration for us, because this is when our production team can finally relax after many months of working long days without a break. We have a holiday party every year where we open old wines from the almost 30 years of Beckmen Vineyards. It’s a great time because we can come together as a team, but also the crew knows that the party means the hardest part of the year is over. The wines enjoyed are a reminder of what all of that hard work helps to create.

‘ World class ’ implies that your product can compete with any in the world. To make such a claim, you need to be as good as any competitor but in your own way.

Duckhorn Vineyards

For over 40 years, Duckhorn Vineyards has been crafting distinctive Bordeaux wine varietals in the Napa Valley, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. From unforgettable wine tastings to the most exclusive wine available, we asked the team about all things Duckhorn … and they answered.

Duckhorn hosts extraordinary wine pairing events like your Farm to Fork Celebration. Can you tell us what details you focus on to make those events elevated and luxurious?

It is the perfect combination of all elements of the event that make them elevated and luxurious, and everything happens in harmony! This includes the luxury wines that pair just perfectly with our curated menus, our knowledgeable hospitality team who ensure all guests are taken care of during every moment of their visit, and the ambiance at our winery properties—including thematic décor, florals, music and lighting.

What’s the go-to Duckhorn wine for a New Year’s Eve celebration?

Our vibrant and alluring Goldeneye Anderson Valley Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine is our go-to New Year’s Eve wine. It is made from our very best blocks of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and captures the rich diversity of our Anderson Valley estate program, offering vivid layers of blood orange, honeydew and hazelnut flavors.


What’s one of the most luxurious wines Duckhorn currently sells and what makes it so incredible?

Almost four decades ago, before crafting their first vintage, the Duckhorns and their winemaker had a passionate discussion around the kitchen table. Though they debated making a cuvée, they chose to focus on varietal wines. Even so, Duckhorn Vineyards has always remained fascinated by the artful blend of varietals from diverse Napa Valley vineyards.

Embodying the depth and complexity of a worldclass Estate program, The Discussion represents the pinnacle of the Duckhorn Vineyards portfolio and the ongoing dialogue that defines great winemaking. The Discussion Napa Valley Red Wine displays winemaker Renée Ary’s commitment to crafting beautifully complex and refined wines. It’s 100% estate grown, made as a block and barrel selection of our greatest wines from the vintage. But great means something different to Renée than it does to other winemakers. She once said: “For many people, a pinnacle wine often means a winery’s biggest, boldest offering. If someone is looking for that, I usually recommend our Howell Mountain Cabernet.

When selecting lots for The Discussion, I prize beauty, grace, intrigue and intensity. There is power in The Discussion, but it is more like a trained dancer, where every movement is precise, poised and beautifully articulated around a powerful core.”

From your experience, which wines tend to trend around the holiday season/winter?

Cabernet Sauvignon is always our top seller during the holiday season; it is the perfect wine for hearty winter dishes and cozying up by the fire. Merlot, Pinot Noir and Red Blends are also very popular in winter.

Future Perfect Wine

Future Perfect Wine is made from hand-gathered fruit, and is hand crafted from brilliant vineyards in Santa Barbara County, California. We spoke with Winemaker Sunny Doench Stricker, whose name is the perfect description of her approach to wine.

How did you get into winemaking?

I learned about wine growing up and traveling throughout Europe. Wine is a staple in the Old World and an integral part of the lifestyle. Traditionally, with lower alcohol wines in Europe, you can enjoy a glass at lunch or dinner and still achieve the business of your day. I enjoy wines like that: bright fruit, balanced acid, lower in alcohol that don’t knock you to the ground but rather, feel elegant and sexy. Those are the wines I try to make.

When I moved to Los Olivos about five years ago, my husband and I bought a tiny farm with goats and chickens and I started mentoring under female winemaker, Jessica Gasca and subsequently with Amy Christine (MW) and Peter Hunken of Holus Bolus.

All the while, I saved my dough and started making my wine until Amy Christine encouraged me to open a tasting room and to just go for it. That is how Future Perfect was born – out of the belief and encouragement from a friend and female winemaker who convinced me that my wines were special. Amy and Peter invited me to share their winery space to get started. That’s the kind of supportive and incredible community you’ll find in Santa Barbara County.

What do you think it is that makes curling up with a good bottle of wine on a chilly, winter night so luxurious?

Well, aside from the fact that Hollywood has done a beautiful job romanticizing that very image, curling up with a good bottle of wine on a chilly night is like being swallowed in the arms of a loved one and reminded that everything will be okay. It’s the sensation that, for a moment, all is well and you’re invited to feel comfort, peace and joy. You’re valuable, and carving out time like that always feels very luxurious.


Santa Barbara County is such a phenomenal backdrop to do what you love. How does the lifestyle and landscape influence your winemaking?

I never get over how breathtaking Santa Barbara County is with all of its microclimates and the incredible landscape. Every morning is different when I drive out to the vineyards or the winery. Every mile is different. Sometimes I’m in fog and then sunshine and then mist and back to fog, with rolling hills of vineyards and horse ranches in the backdrop. My heart feels so full in my chest, every single day, and I am so grateful that I get to be a winemaker here. It’s like winning the lottery for where in the world to get to be a winemaker.

What is the most luxurious wine you make and why?

My Sparkling Wine program is Méthode Champenoise, which takes quite a long time and is very costly, but it’s a passion project for me because Champagne and bright, dry sparkling wines are my favorites to enjoy. I always say “tiny bubbles, tiny troubles!” so making my Sparkling Rosé (given 92 points by Wine Enthusiast) and Blanc de Blanc in the Traditional Champagne Method is very important.

Future Perfect also believes in love, kindness and inclusivity. We welcome everyone into our tasting room and every June (beginning this past June 2022), we release a PRIDE Rosé, made from Grenache, to support the effort towards acceptance, inclusion and freedom for all. The PRIDE Rosé is a project I began with two of my friends Jenae Unruh and her wife Nikki Faragasso. It was given 90 points by Wine Enthusiast, and it’s a very limited release but one that brings so much joy.

Any fun stories from winemaking over the holidays?

I’m incredibly lucky to have been invited to make my production of Future Perfect Wine at Grassini Family Vineyards in Happy Canyon, beginning this past harvest, 2022. Grassini’s winemaker, Bradley Long and I are good friends and he and I, along with their mighty winery team, have spent harvest days wearing bright colored wigs and processing fruit under a giant disco ball in the winery. My barrel room there has all my barrels stacked on hot pink barrel racks with rainbow and unicorn chalk art on the barrels and Grassini has fully embraced the spirit that is Future Perfect. It’s been a blast! We’re having a fantastic time making very serious wine. And that’s how it should be, right?

Story of Soil Wines

An intimate winemaking operation and one of the only Latina women winemakers in Santa Barbara, California, Story of Soil is set on creating small-production wines crafted with intention and care. We spoke with Winemaker Jessica Gasca to get (what else?) the Story of Soil

What little details in your tasting room and winery do you keep in mind to create the best tasting experience possible for your guests?

I think the most important aspect of our tasting experience is that whether you walk in knowing a lot about wine or a little about wine, you can always learn more. Our team is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to the educational aspect of wine, while keeping in mind what the guest actually wants to learn. We definitely love to get geeky about wine but we also understand that some guests may just want to relax and enjoy beautiful Los Olivos. Our private tastings at the winery definitely give a more in-depth look at how the wine is actually made and aged and can definitely be for those eager to learn more. A barrel tasting can also be a pretty exciting (and romantic) experience for those who have never done it before.

What are some of your favorite food and wine pairings for the holidays?

Oh gosh! I am definitely a girl that has a number of different wines open on the day of big celebrations. Rosé is usually served with some canapé or some Grüner Veltliner with a good cheese board, and I usually have Pinot Noir and Grenache on the table for the main course. In my opinion, Grenache is one of the most food friendly wines in the world and pairs perfectly with classic holiday meals.




Located in the highly sought-after NW Tucson, ‘Villa De Hope’ overlooks the Catalina mountains from almost every room. Each bedroom in the home opens to a beautifully decorated inner court, from the private terrace, through glass French doors. The home offers multiple areas to view landscaped gardens and to observe the shimmering swimming pool area. There are 7 large bedrooms (lessened for & has 10 bed), 5 having private bathrooms, all with Roman showers. All areas of the 5,457sqft home are wheelchair accessible. The home offers a mini library, an in house salon and a large activity room currently home to a grand piano. Located close to hospitals, physician’s offices, as well as shopping and restaurants. Villa de Hope is currently ran as a luxury assisted living facility.

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