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Archive for July, 2009

Something to Add to Your Wine Cellar

July 31st, 2009 2 comments

Vintage Cellars is not just about custom built wine cellars and wine storage equipment, it’s about wine.  Though I have not yet made it to every wine region of the world (a lofty goal, I know), I like to have my palate travel to each region 1 bottle at a time.

Currently, I’m spending the early summer months enjoying Zinfandels of Northern California.  This past weekend, I opened a gem.  The 2004 Yoakim Bridge Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel was everything I wanted it to be.  A rare find unless someone has pointed it out, Yoakim Bridge is not distributed nationally.  It’s a quaint family-owned vineyard and winery in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley.  This vintage has been in my wine cabinet for the past 3 years and I thought it was about time to give it a try.  I was not disappointed in this big, rich Zin with layers upon layers of black berry fruit and spice.

If you can find a bottle, I highly recommend you buy 3: 1 to enjoy now and 2 for the cellar.  I still have 3 bottles of this excellent Zinfandel left and on the perfect occasion, maybe with Steak Diane or some sirloin tips in a mushroom reduction sauce, I will enjoy again.

View more of our wine tasting reviews here.

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Making It Perfectly Clear: Considerations for Wine Cellar Windows

July 30th, 2009 No comments

I have two examples I want to share with everyone currently planning on building a wine cellar.  Whether new construction, a remodel or an addition to the home, it is important to review all aspects of construction with a wine cellar specialist.  These two examples both have to do with heat load and wine cellar windows.

The first example is from a wine cellar on the coast in Southern California.  A general contractor was responsible for the cooling, construction and preparation of the wine cellar.  I consulted with the interior decorator and the home owner on a racking design.  The concept was beautiful with stone, artistic tile and an amazing floor.  The wine cellar windows were tinted glass. The racking was hand made cabinetry, distressed, stained and waxed to create an antique effect.

I recently received an emergency phone call from the client to discuss condensation building up on the outside of the cellar on the 2 large tinted glass windows. After a brief conversation, I discovered the wine cellar window glass was a single pane glass. 55 degrees inside a wine cellar and 80 degree moist ocean air will create condensation, guaranteed.

The second example is from a dry desert climate. There were many factors that had to be considered to meet the clients design requirements. Part of that was a near invisible cooling unit.  In this example, the cooling unit was working 23 hours a day and only keeping the cellar at 59 degrees.  The wine cellar was constructed with the front wall done entirely in ½ inch thick glass. There was not enough BTU’s in the cooling system to compensate for the heat load coming through the glass.

In both situations, the glass was the key problem ingredient. Vintage Cellars recommends using a dual pane thermal insulated glass for any wine cellar windows or doors. The exterior environment can have a dramatic effect when the goal is to keep a room at 55 degrees. Consult with a wine cellar expert before making decisions that can affect your favorite room.

Wine Barrels Become Unique Cellar Furnishings

July 21st, 2009 No comments
Vintique Collection

Vintique Collection

Custom wine racking has finally gone “green”.  Recently, I started working with the Vintique Collection of custom wine racks.  Vintique wine racks are made from recycled wine barrels and fermentation tanks.  The wine barrels and tanks are dismantled and re-engineered into individual wine bottle storage, diamond bins, case storage, glass racks, archways and anything you can imagine.  Barrel heads, outer and inner sides can be used in these unique one of a kind wine racks.  The natural beauty of the Vintique wine racks and other products is what engages me.  The inner sides can range from a light purple to a deep velvety red.  The outer sides have have distinct markings from the hoops of the barrel.  No two wine rooms will ever be the same.  Forget about stains and wood types when you look at the Vintique Collection and just let the natural beauty of these recycled barrels and tanks make its mark.  I’m currently designing several wine cellars in the Southern California area using the Vintique Collection, however, this is not limited locally.  Designs can be done around the country using any wine cellar space.

Browse our collection of Fontenay Vintique custom wine racks here.