Chateau Luzon is the name given by a neighbor to Scott MacDonald’s contemporary home on Luzon Avenue in Del Mar, CA. A trademark for Chateau Luzon has been applied for. Built in 1995 by award winning developer and architect, Batter Kaye, the Luzon home is a modern home of exposed concrete, dramatic big windows, and multiple levels. It sits on top of a hill with views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
In 2014, Scott planted a mini vineyard of chardonnay vines on the slope in front of the house. Only 60 feet by 10 feet, the mini vineyard serves as an innovative and scenic foreground to the dramatic house behind.
The concept of a home vineyard is consistent with water conservation goals. With strictly controlled drip irrigation, only the vine roots receive water. As the vines become established, less water is provided so the vines struggle to make the best quality grapes. If sun and soil conditions are favorable, home vineyards are far better than grass and other water intensive landscaping and are likely comparible with widely used draught tolerant vegetation. A vineyard in the front yard has far greater asthetic appeal than desert plantings.
The vines are beginning their fourth growing season and continue to exhibit good health and vitality. In September of 2016, the grapes from the third season were picked and pressed with the help of many neighbors and the juice has been stored in a stainless steel container in a cool place while undergoing fermentation and transition. Unfortunately, we had to pick the grapes early due to a bee infestation so we are unsure what the wine will taste like when ready to bottle.