Case Studies

Red Red Wine Estates

A private platinum resort on the shores of recreational hot spot Lake Travis, built by and for the private use of one very anomalous man and his family

On the north shores of Lake Travis situated at the western edge of Austin, Texas, a one-of-a-kind private resort worthy of fantasy is on the market. The brainchild of Mickey Redwine, a Texas entrepreneur, Red Red Wine Estates, aka Cala Zarca — “Light Blue Cove” in Spanish — is the ultimate exotic getaway.

Redwine purchased the lakefront property in 2001 after flying in a helicopter from Lake Travis’ mile marker No. 1 at Mansfield Dam to mile marker No. 53 near Marble Falls while looking for the perfect tract of land. Wanting a minimum of 100 acres, he finally settled on a piece of real estate on the North Shore that was 76 acres with one-fourth mile of lakefront property situated along one of the deepest and most private coves on Lake Travis.

Red Red Wine Estates

The land had been spoken for and would soon be developed into 13 large residential plots neighboring an 18-hole Gary Player-designed golf course. But Redwine was not deterred: he made the developer a deal he couldn’t refuse. He offered to buy the entire 13 lots, all or none; the developer reacquired a previously sold lot and the deal with Redwine was consummated.

Honkey-tonk engineering dream come true

Redwine, the owner of both the highly successful Texas-based Dynamic Holdings and this massive, sprawling and unique project, set out to construct his own Southwestern reclusive getaway. In classic Texan style, Redwine says, “It all started in a honkytonk on a cocktail napkin when I did a rough sketch of a boat dock.”

Redwine’s napkin blueprint grew into a monster project that he says consumed his time, thoughts and pocketbook for over five years. From the humble beginnings on a napkin, the Red Red Wine venture now includes the largest swimming pool in Texas with over 6 million gallons of fresh water, two sandy beaches, three cascading waterfalls hundreds of feet long, a boathouse and a grotto on a 76-acre spread that many guests avow shames elite resorts worldwide. The grounds are accented with strategically placed fiber-optic lighting and exotic landscaping to create a property that could turn Hugh Hefner and his entourage of bunnies green with envy.

Horizontal amenities shine

Redwine engaged his company, Dynamic Holdings to perform much of the heavy construction work for this dream estate, just outside of Lago Vista, Texas. The property accesses local utilities and all pipe, conduit and electrical are underground, keeping wires out of sight at the picturesque private resort. A state-of-the-art security and music system are integrated into the electrical utilities as well, complete with remotely controlled cameras, hooked up to the Internet.

The property is easy to navigate, connected by a network of 4,000 linear feet of concrete and asphalt flat curbed roadways. In high-use areas, there is ample parking and even multiple spaces to park and hook up recreational vehicles to electrical, water and sewer. For those who prefer to slow things down, a nature path provides the perfect avenue for enjoying abundant flora and fauna. A wildlife plan was implemented early in Redwine’s ownership to protect deer, bats, a variety of protected bird species, turtles, and even panthers and bobcats.

Landscaping has been an ongoing project. Over his years of ownership, Redwine has taken great care in building a diverse and heavily planted backdrop for this getaway. A combination of local and exotic plants accentuates the scenery and complements the relaxed atmosphere of the estate.

“There are several varieties of oak trees throughout the property,” Redwine says, among other species. The plant life is designed to coincide with different areas of the property, with tropical palms and flowers flourishing around the several man-made waterfalls, the grotto and a cold-water Jacuzzi. The grounds are greened with the help of a sectional, timed sprinkler system fed by the lake.

Cala Zarca casual

While wide-open spaces cover a majority of Red Red Wine Estate’s acreage, architectural amenities perform all the functions of a well-rounded escape. Future owners and guests can opt to make the first stop at the pool-side cabana, situated alongside an enormous 1-acre pool containing 6 million gallons of water reaching 21 feet in depth. While the pool is fledged by three private beaches, diving rocks and exotic landscaping, the most impressive features are three man-made waterfalls. Several cold-water Jacuzzis, or sitting pools, sit between the waterfalls, grotto and pool. A poolside palapa offers shade and a table for beverages.

But before taking a dip, the cabana offers everything necessary to prep for private beach time. A temperature-controlled restroom, changing rooms and washer and dryer help guests to make a rapid transition into relaxation mode. The audio controls are inside as well, wired to a sound system for the cabana and pool. Just out the door, two shaded decks featuring a chimenea fireplace, porch swing and two-person hammock offer even more opportunities to slow down and enjoy the property.

For those seeking a snack or a cold beverage after swimming session, the cabana’s outdoor bar is the place to be. Under the bar is room for all the fixings for a mojito. And the accompanying kitchen features a barbecue pit, rotisserie and fish fryer for guests to enjoy tasty outdoor meals.

Head down to the dock

While poolside relaxation is all well and good, a weekend away at Red Red Wine Estates requires sleeping accommodations — and Redwine’s dream escape delivers. This first structure on the property, Redwine’s combination boat house, bachelor pad and bunkhouse incorporates three levels of living space over a sheltered dock with power hookups for the two speed boats — a 40-foot 400 SS Formula cabin cruiser and a 15-foot Sea Doo Speedster jet boat.

A full kitchen and wet bar kick off the entertainment space, equipped with a propane barbecue and rotisserie, double gas burners, a microwave, a stainless steel sink and food prep space. Out the double doors, the weather and pest-resistant and rot-proof Ipe Brazilian clear heart hardwood deck provides a sunny spot to relax with a good book and a cocktail.

The second floor deck of the boat house is accessible from stairs from the first floor, or a ladder from the lake. Redwine has installed an unusual feature, a favorite of many guests, which adds thrill to lakeside afternoons. “There are two cable swings suspended from an A frame for my guests’ entertainment,” he explains. “It launches from the second level deck and drops you into the lake from an elevation of 10 feet.”

Redwine’s master bedroom and bunk house are perched atop the boat house on the third floor of the structure, where he says visitors can experience the best view of Lake Travis. Ipe flooring continues throughout the house into the master bedroom, which features a full bath, large windows, a deck with a view, and a granite-top work desk. Next door, the bunkhouse mimics the cabin of a high-end yacht with cushy bunks for visitors, built-in storage and a wall-mounted television. The third level deck features a round, breeze-generating canopy and a high-velocity fan with a misting system in case sunbathing guests need to escape the heat.

High-tech amenities

Potential buyers hesitant to take on the management of such a sprawling and complex estate can rest easy knowing Redwine has developed several systems to save precious vacation time and safeguard the property while owners are away. A helipad offers accessibility from the air, cutting travel time. And while the shoreline descent to the boathouse from the higher ground of the property is long and steep, skip the stairs and transport heavy gear, food and supplies down the slope using the remotely callable tram. “This commercial-grade tram hauls people and supplies between the boat dock parking area and the boat dock,” explains Redwine. “And it’s automated to stop when it reaches either end.”

Lake Travis is known regionally for its tendency to flood, complicating matters for property owners with lake access and docks. But Redwine solved his problem by building a steel I-beam track that follows the slope of the hill. A fifth-wheel assembly allows the dock to rise and pivot in all directions without putting strain on the structure or mechanism. Divers planted anchors around the dock that keep the structure in place while offering flexibility. Utilities are neatly packed in a heavy-duty vinyl sleeve that follows the I-beam and utilizes buoyancy to coil utilities appropriately. “The end result is a clean, maintenance-free, totally self-sufficient system that requires no monitoring,” Redwine says. “To my knowledge this is the only system of its kind in existence. I’ve been encouraged by several people to patent the idea.”

Few people can boast ownership of a highly efficient, self-maintaining 76-acre private resort/retreat, but the opportunity is open. Red Red Wine Estates is on the market and the right buyer can look forward to years of relaxation to come. The property has its own website, calazarca.com.

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Fall 2017

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