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Scotts Valley, California

During the filming of "Rebecca", Alfred Hitchcock remarked to Joan Fontaine's parents that he was interested in buying land for growing wine grapes and they suggested he explore the Vine Hill region of Contra Costa County, California.[1]

Heart o' the Mountains

In the autumn of 1940, the Hitchcocks purchased a 200 acre estate in Scotts Valley — known locally as "Heart o' the Mountains" — from Bruce and Helen Cornwall and this became their occasional second home and a weekend retreat for entertaining close friends of the family. Located in a secluded redwood mountainous area, the property has views of Monterey Bay.

The Hitchcocks renovated the property, extending the wine cellar and kitchen. The gardens were redesgined by Santa Cruz landscape architect Roy Rydell. Hitchcock was particularly proud of the rose garden patio, which featured a "Deux Oiseaux" mosaic by cubist artist Georges Braque.

Guests at the house included Ingrid Bergman and Peter Lindstrom, Robert Cummings, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, Arthur Laurents, and Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco.

Art director Henry Bumstead later recalled spending a weekend in 1957 at the estate:

I went up to Santa Cruz for his birthday when we were making Vertigo, for instance. His daughter Pat was there, and we were on the veranda as the phone was ringing with well-wishers. Hitch was quite a guy. I couldn't keep up with him. You know, he would even carry your bags up to your room. He had terrific energy. I couldn't drink as much as he could, either. I would have to go to bed by midnight, and even then I would be dead the next morning. But not Hitch.[2]

In their latter years, the Hitchcocks travelled to Scotts Valley less frequently and, after the house was burgled in the early 1970s, they sold the property to local artist James Scoppettone in 1974.[3]

The property was purchased in 1978 by Robert Brassfield.[4]

See Also...

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...

Google Maps

Nearest Locations


Notes & References

  1. "Alfred Hitchcock found contentment in SV" by Marion Dale Pokriots (Scotts Valley Historical Society)
  2. "Henry Bumstead and the World of Hollywood Art Direction" - by Andrew Horton (2003), page 54
  3. James Scoppettone's web site
  4. heartothemountain.com