“The first time I visited the site, I was immediately aware of its uniqueness…there’s the history of the place, which you can see as well as feel. The Cole House is significant not only historically, but also architecturally. Related agricultural buildings also date from the 19th century – all a reminder of the area’s rich agrarian traditions.” - Richard Beard, Architect, FAIA
Like Kisha and Jason Itkin, it was the peaceful isolation of the place that drew Dr. Richard Beverly Cole and his wife, Eugenie, to purchase their Diamond Mountain property in the late 1880s. It was a respite from city life for Dr. Cole, a prominent San Francisco surgeon who served as Surgeon General of California among other professional capacities. He cherished the mountain site, and named it “La Perlita del Monte” (little pearl of the mountain).
Though his busy career kept him in San Francisco much of the time, his family lived full-time in Napa Valley, residing in the Victorian home they built in 1889, schooling their children and farming the land. They planted crops and orchards, erected barns and a chicken coop, and even built a small schoolhouse. Although Dr. Cole died in 1901, his family continued to live on the property until 1958, when the land was sold to the Graeser family. In the 1980s the Graesers planted a 10-acre vineyard and established a bonded winery on the property, opening a new chapter in the estate’s history. But when the 2008 financial downturn occurred the property sadly went into foreclosure.
It lay vacant until 2012, when Kisha and Jason Itkin founded Theorem Vineyards.