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This Historic Cottage Near Santa Barbara Offers Low-Key Wine Country Style for $1.5 Million

California’s Santa Ynez Valley, about 140 miles outside Los Angeles and roughly 35 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, has deep agrarian roots with an emphasis on wine grapes. Situated between the region’s largest town, the all-things-Danish village of Solvang, and the wine tourism-centric community of Los Olivos, the Santa Ynez Valley’s smallest burg is Ballard, a sleepy knot of homes and businesses that got its start in 1880 at the site of a Wells Fargo stage line station.

The stagecoaches are long gone, replaced with Range Rovers and Teslas, but one of Ballard’s earliest homes is still standing and now on the market for a tetch under $1.5 million. Built in 1886 and positioned on more than half an acre, the not-quite 1,400-square-foot cottage is set behind a classic split-rail fence and exudes vintage character with board and batten siding and a broad, partly tree-shaded front porch.

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1930 Alamo Pintado
The dining room’s picnic table is large enough to host a wine tasting.

While it has all the comforts of modern life, this updated 137-year-old farmhouse is no “modern farmhouse” as it relates to all the lavishly appointed farmhouse-inspired homes that have proliferated in suburban neighborhoods all across the United States. Here, simplicity and authentic rustic charm permeate the interior spaces that offer wood floors, whitewashed shiplap walls, and wood-clad ceilings. Throughout the two-story home, unique lighting fixtures add flair, and mullioned sash windows add to the casual farmhouse vibe.

The cozy living room has a corner fireplace, the updated kitchen is decked out with a combination of marble and butcherblock countertops, and a spacious sun porch does double duty as a dining room large enough to accommodate an eight-person picnic table. There’s a bedroom and a full bath on the main floor, while the larger bedroom on the second floor has an ensuite half-bath tucked up into the slope-roofed space.

1930 Alamo Pintado
Decks along the front and the back of the house encourage alfresco relaxing.

Another wide deck spans the rear of the house and overlooks the unfussy backyard yard with mature shade trees, a tented dining terrace, and a roomy shed clad in corrugated metal panels. Add a hot tub and a wine fridge, and there’s just about everything a neophyte or expert oenophile might want and need in an unpretentious wine country weekend hideaway.

The property is available through Nina Stormo at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.

Click here for more photos of 1930 Alamo Pintado Road.

1930 Alamo Pintado
1930 Alamo Pintado

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