High Hill Farm
High Hill Farm is the dream of Sharon and Jason Romano. He’s an acclaimed homebuilder. She’s the consummate entertainer. Together, they’ve created an intimate retreat in East Texas inspired by their many travels. Visualize the scenic vineyards of Napa Valley or strolling the romantic hillsides of Tuscany. Imagine the white-washed cottages of Santorini, Greece and the vibrancy of New Orleans with all the charm of Seaside, Florida. Each blended together for a captivating experience that can only be found in one place. Welcome to High Hill Farm. The 75-acre spread was overgrown with hardwoods when Jason and Sharon Romano first spotted the plot that would become the Piney Woods retreat of their dreams. Since 2013, they have been steadily transforming their new homestead – nestled off a county road near Overton, about twenty miles southeast of Tyler – into a “greatest hits” compilation of their favorite vacation destinations. The first three pastel bungalows that have gone up, unfussy and outfitted with small private yards, are as sunny as those in Seaside, Florida. The pool, set into an emerald lawn, and the vineyard, with its sloping rows of black Spanish grapes, could be direct imports from Napa’s sophisticated Carneros Inn, while the Napoleon Bar pays homage to the Romanos’ favorite New Orleans watering hole. At their 48-seat restaurant, Côte, chef Erin Willis serves locally sourced, Southern-by-way-of-France feasts. High Hill’s own imitation-worthy delights came into full view when I climbed onto an orange ATV for a ride into the property’s deliberately less-manicured reaches. Beyond a stately tree line of white oaks and redbuds, I followed hiking trails that wend around three natural springs and open onto clearings set aside for skeet shooting, an obstacle course, and champagne-laden sunset picnics.