July 15, 2011 10:27 pm

Hot property: orchards

Fruit trees not only offer mouth-watering produce – they also provide an excellent habitat for local birdlife

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Fruits don’t get fresher than those plucked from your own trees. There’s something spoiling and yet still solidly old-fashioned about owning an orchard: as well as their mouth-watering produce, the fruit trees themselves look and smell lovely, especially when in blossom, and provide an excellent habitat for local birdlife. Here are five properties from around the world with first-rate orchards.

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Il Cornino

Il Cornino, Italy, €2.7m (£2.4m)

Where: Between Radda in Chianti and Volpaia in Tuscany

What: A nine-bedroom restored house with pool and three-bedroom guest house.

Why: Situated in Italian countryside, this property is still only a stone’s throw from the galleries, restaurants and architecture of Siena and Florence. The orchard, between the house and vineyard, contains cherry, apple, fig, apricot, walnut, almond and pear trees. It’s a great spot for lounging by the pool with a glass of your own wine, a bowl of your own fruit, and views across your land.

Who: Savills, www.savills.co.uk/abroad, tel: +44 (0)20 7016 3740

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Good Hope Farm

Good Hope Farm, South Africa, 12.75m Rand (approx £1.2m)

Where: Paarl, Western Cape, 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town.

What: Lifestyle farm and cottage with five bedrooms, pool, tennis court and extensive well-irrigated orchards, in 29 acres (11.6ha).

Why: “Lifestyle farm” means hobby farm in South Africa but you’d have to be a keen hobby fruitarian to keep these orchards going, with their seven acres of guavas, plus significant plantings of clementines, olives and Chenin blanc grapes, not to mention nine acres of grassland for grazing animals of your choice

Who: Pam Golding Properties, www.pamgolding.co.za, tel: +27 (0) 21 871 1480

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Old Quaker Hill Road

263 Old Quaker Hill Rd, USA, $1.99m (£1.25m)

Where: Quaker Hill, Pawling, New York, 90 minutes’ drive from Manhattan.

What: A six-bedroom colonial-style house built in 1880 with pool and waterfall in 14 acres (5.7ha).

Why: The 12 organically maintained apple and peach trees will be a delight in the hot summers, and the house’s three fireplaces will keep you toasty during the cold New York winters. The property comes with landscaped gardens and a 90ft (27m) waterfall tucked away in its own woodland. Nearby Pawling is a smart town, with the US’s oldest public golf course, two train stations and a nature reserve.

Who: Houlihan Lawrence, www.houlihanlawrence.com, tel: +1 845 279 6800 ext 222

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Chaffcombe Manor

Chaffcombe Manor, UK, £2.25m

Where: Chaffcombe, mid-Devon, 14 miles (22.4km) from Exeter.

What: A restored, listed medieval manor with four bedrooms plus a three-bedroom cider house and outbuildings containing a cinema and party room in 13 acres (5.3ha).

Why: Devon is cider country, so this pretty and historic house with its own apple orchard and cider press will win instant favour with locals and guests alike (although you’ll need to employ craftsmen to mend the broken cider press). A walled garden, flower meadows, a pond and woodland add to the bucolic delight, and provide somewhere to stroll after an afternoon drinking scrumpy (the West Country’s strong, traditionally produced cider).

Who: Jackson-Stops & Staff, www.jacksonstops.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)1392 214 222

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Domaine du Moulin

Domaine du Moulin, France, €9.3m (£8.3m)

Where: Canton de Grimaud, southern France, eight miles (13km) from Saint-Tropez.

What: A 19th-century, seven-bedroom house with guest and staff cottages and pool in 45 acres (18ha).

Why: Of the 45 acres surrounding the house, 8.5 are vineyards, 11 olive and other fruit orchards and 18 woodland. Nothing in sight compromises the sense of seclusion and peace, yet it’s within walking distance of the medieval village of Grimaud and a short drive from the gin-palace sophistication of Saint-Tropez. The fruit trees include mulberry and fig. The olive trees, mostly planted recently, produce 50 litres of oil a year.

Who: Knight Frank, www.knightfrank.com, tel: +44 (0)20 7629 8171

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