Wine has symbolized the good life since Bacchus first posed for Roman sculptors, surrounded by bushels of grapes and a wood nymph or two. Centuries later, the good life we pursue in a golf community offers a new pairing: eighteen holes of sporting challenge plus on-property vineyards, maybe even a working winery. The vineyard amenity adds a pastoral element while appealing to our fascination with all things viticultural. Once barrel aging and grape growing become part of community life, tours, tastings and other celebratory events should follow. A question arises: Is there room for beer in these bacchanalian golf developments?After a foozle-filled round, perhaps—when you need one to cry into.
Château Élan Winery & Resort
A hillside carpeted in mature grapevines spills downward from a two-story French château, setting a tone of provincial splendor for this gated resort community. Two courses by Denis Griffiths and one by a trio of top Tour players also grace the sloping landscapes of this 3,500-acre property. Wine culture is found in most every corner, including at the spa, where crushed grape seeds are used as an exfoliant. The community’s only notable weakness had been its fitness complement, but that’s been remedied lavishly by a new, multimillion-dollar sports club. The home pictured overlooks the seventeenth fairway of the Château Course. Visit chateauelanatlanta.com.
Square Feet: 6,000
Diablo Grande Winery & Resort
Diablo Grande resort covers 33,000 acres east of the jagged horizon of the Diablo Mountains. Within this mountain-view community, residences that adjoin the private vineyards include the Reserve and a section of Estate homes, the latter characterized by lots of up to nine acres. As the agricultural San Joaquin Valley diversifies, Diablo Grande—complete with swim and tennis center, equestrian complex and high-end spa—will take a prominent place on the landscape. Two courses, one of them a Jack Nicklaus–Gene Sarazen collaboration, are now open. A decade after commercial wine production began, the Diablo Grande label has expanded to include seven bottlings. The home depicted will be built in the Estate section. Visit diablogrande.com.
Square Feet: 4,055
Price: $1 million-plus
New Kent Vineyards
New Kent, Virginia
Although the region surrounding this community (located 32 miles from Williamsburg) is better known for colonial history than for winemaking, the vintners of New Kent harbor serious ambitions for their product. The first grapes, among them the native Norton varietal, were harvested last year. Next to be uncorked at New Kent Vineyards is a Rees Jones championship course with a high-tech teaching studio and practice complex. Other amenities slated to come online include equestrian facilities, a fitness complex with an aquatic center, and a boutique inn. The home shown will be built within the emerging Viniterra section of New Kent Vineyards. Visit viniterra.com.
Square Feet: 3,700
Price: $900,000 to $1.2 million