Surrounded by vineyards, with a stunning view of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the secluded Bliss House has become a place where special memories are made. It has been the gathering place for friends that reunite from different parts of the country, intergenerational family celebrations and romantic getaways for the newly married, or those who simply feel that way. It epitomizes so much of what Lynmar is – comfortable, natural and hospitable. To sit on the deck, as the sun sets and watch the light change over the vineyards and Laguna with a glass of Lynmar Pinot Noir, is a sublime experience that so many of our Advocates, friends and family have enjoyed.
The Bliss Story
Like everything at Lynmar, The Bliss House has a story. The original, 18 acres parcel of land, was bought by Don and Diane Bliss in the early eighties, about the same time that Lynn bought Quail Hill. Originally from Texas, Don was a doctor in the Navy who, like many in these parts, dreamed about the wine country life. Still working, he dispatched his parents to the site and they lived in a trailer while building a two bedroom A-frame cedar log house to Don’s design. They then moved in, and Don’s mother lovingly planted roses around the house. In due course, Don and Diane arrived, and added a large one bedroom 1.5 bath wing with its own kitchen, entrance and dining and living rooms. A long hallway connected the families inside and a two-level deck was shared on the outside. The area between the two units was designed artfully with a fountain and trees that invited the eye to take in the visual beauty of the outside. Not wishing to see each others houses, Lynn and Don agreed to plant rows of redwoods along the property line. In time, Don’s grown son moved into the house, which was again expanded to include another complete unit downstairs.
Don and Diane planted a vineyard with a field-blend of Pinot Noir clones, and built a barn and a chicken coop. Over the years, these, our closest neighbors, became our friends, which was a good thing because Lynmar grew to surround them on three sides. In 2006, when they decided that they wanted to spend the last chapter of their lives with their extended family in Texas, Don sold the property to us, and we named the home The Bliss House in their honor. With The Bliss House, came the Bliss Block, the chicken coop and the barn (and the truck), all of which are now inextricably linked to Lynmar.
On evenings like today, when Lynn, Adam and I walk the vineyards with our dogs, we send blessings to the Bliss family whose loving hands crafted and shaped a unique house and property. This year, the Bliss House underwent a much needed facelift. However, it will not be the new paint or furnishings you will notice – it will be the warmth and quirkiness of the house, the breathtaking view and the roses. God bless you Don and Diane – your old home is now a place where people come to love and laugh, to be together and to share in the Lynmar Life. Your piece of heaven continues to fulfill its purpose.
Photos by Chris Majors