Wipe off your boots before entering

Times Staff Writer

The MJ Ranch -- M for Michael Schoff, J for Jeanne Hollingsworth -- sits on 249 bucolic acres in the Santa Ynez Valley community of Los Olivos.

Completed two years ago, it has a Mediterranean-style main house, with views of the mountains, valley and 400-year-old oaks; guest quarters; a barn; and a tractor shed with room for six cars. What it doesn’t have is noise -- there are no neighbors for miles. The only commotion comes when hawks and eagles are divebombed by other birds protecting their nests.

Before owners Schoff and Hollingsworth started construction, they traveled to Bogota, Colombia, where they met a craftsman creating furniture out of wood salvaged from 200-year-old churches and homes. Wood for the floors, arched doors and picture windows of the ranch’s main house eventually came from the same churches and homes. A Spanish Colonial tower at the ranch was made from old wood balconies. Tropical hardwoods from Colombia were utilized elsewhere in the house.

The home is reminiscent of a hacienda the couple toured in Bogota that was once the residence of Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), the Venezuelan-born leader of a revolt by South American colonies against Spanish rule. Like the hacienda, the Los Olivos home is arranged in three sections -- one for everyday living, the second for entertaining, the third a guest wing reached by a 60-foot-long windowed corridor. Among the guest quarters’ features are a recreation room, a kitchen and three bedrooms with baths.


About the ranch: The barn design allows the horses to see one another. The tack room is enclosed to avoid dust. There’s a veterinary exam room, and the barn loft has live-in quarters.

Asking price: $25 million

Size: The residence, including guest quarters, totals 9,622 square feet. The guest wing is 2,231 square feet.

Features: The home has a wine cellar, a gym, a saltwater pool, two spas, a sauna, abundant well water, a fire pit and a master-bedroom suite with his-and-hers bathrooms and a two-person hot tub on the balcony. There are six bedrooms and eight bathrooms plus eight fireplaces throughout the house.


Where: Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County

Listing agent: Bob Hurwitz, Hurwitz James Co., Beverly Hills, (310) 477-8865.