History of Stonepine Estate

In 1983, Gordon and Noel Hentschel purchased the Double H Ranch from the probate of the children of Henry Potter and Helen Crocker-Russell of the San Francisco banking family. It was a wedding gift to each other and the ideal location to raise their own future family. They renamed the 330-acre property “Stonepine Estate” after the towering 80-foot Italian stone pines, which were planted from 18-inch saplings by the Russells more than 50 years prior. The resultant setting was more reminiscent of Tuscany than Northern California.

During its first 20 years, Stonepine Estate was the premier U.S. “Purple Shield” member of the Paris-based Relais & Châteaux catering to European and international visitors both on a group and individual basis. In 2009, the Hentschels chose “Historic Hotels of America” as the best membership organization to focus on the many historical aspects of this exclusive property. The European attention to detail was thereby complimented by an American commitment to creativity and friendliness. A perfect location for “business affairs” or “affairs of the heart.”

The centerpiece of the Estate is Chateau Noel, the original Manor House of the Crockers that is surrounded by 12 formal Mediterranean-style gardens, which offer a lush picturesque respite from the California oak woods and rolling meadows of Carmel Valley. The Chateau gardens, which were awarded the coveted “Garden of the Year Award” in 1956 by the California Horticultural Society, were expanded and upgraded in the 90’s by the Hentschels and will soon include a 30-acre Vineyard and Winery just outside the main gates of the Chateau.

“Stonepine Equestrian” was the home of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association under the leadership of the then President Charles Russell. Today, it offers four separate training regimens in horsemanship, Hunter-jumping, Dressage, Western and Three-day eventing. Its stable setting is reminiscent of the Eastern Seaboard or farms of Virginia and Kentucky, nestled on the banks of the beautiful Carmel River.

For the past 25 years Stonepine Estate has been selected by “Corporate Meetings and Events” planners for its unique venues and high security capabilities. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is “Stonepine’s Wedding,” reputation for celebrity and society tête-à-têtes. Whether a California Country theme or a Grand Estate Celebration, the setting is unrivaled in California or the world.

As of 2013, 20% of all future Chateau Noel accommodation revenues and site fees will be donated, in the guests name, to one of nine programs endorsed by the Noel Foundation, created by Noel Hentschel in 1989 to help women and children most in need throughout the world. These programs are all 501(c)(3) qualified and can be utilized as a tax deduction.