Archive for the ‘Custom Cellar Design’ Category

Cellar Space for Wine Cases

July 25th, 2011 No comments

If purchased by the case, most people want to keep their wines stored in their original cases.  Unpacking and storing identical bottles on regular racks can be a waste of precious bottle space.  Therefore, if you plan to purchase wine by the case, it’s important that your wine cellar be able to accommodate wine cases.  Because wine cases vary in size, shelving units that are adjustable, like those with movable brackets, are a necessity.  Although the average wine case is 8 ”x 14”x 22” some cases are larger, and wine cellar designers have observed a trend that wine packaging is becoming more creative, and that wines are being put into unusual bottles that are visually striking with greater frequency.  This means the frequent appearance of “average sized” wine cases could be diminishing, making the need for adjustable shelving all the more apparent.  Cellars can be constructed with drawer slides on lower shelves for cases that get moved around frequently and upper shelves that are adjustable to accommodate different sized cases. It’s important, if you’re designing a custom wine cellar, to let your cellar design team know if you plan on storing cases of wine.  If so, there’s no need for good cases to be piled on the floor when an elegant, easy-to-adjust shelving solution would look so much nicer!

blueprint for custom made wine cellar and wine storage

Vintage Cellars can design a custom solution that will hold your cases (or large bottles, or split bottles, or whatever you have) beautifully and efficiently. Or, if you’re looking for a ready-made racking system, you may want to select one like this case and bottle rack that can hold a mix of bottle sizes and cases.

Featured in Wine Spectator: The Gilliland Wine Cellar

November 17th, 2010 1 comment

Three Vintage Cellars custom wine cellar projects were recently featured in Wine Spectator magazine. You can click that link to see the original article; in this post we are focusing on the details of one of the cellars. Click the photos for larger versions.

The Gilliland wine cellar in San Diego, built in 2009, was designed to be the focal point of the dining room. This is a small wine cellar, holding only 750 bottles or so, but it has a lot of personality. To create the space for the wine cellar, a bump-out was added to the wall. You can see the framing for this addition below:

Gilliland wine cellar framing

The framing for the bump-out to to create space for the Gilliland wine cellar.

This framing allowed for about 80 square feet of wine cellar space. After constructing the addition, the entire area was sealed, vapor-barriered and insulated to maintain temperature and prevent moisture build-up (you can read more about building a wine cellar on the main site).

The Gilliland cellar was outfitted with wine racks and display shelving, including a display area on the left side that isn’t shown in Wine Spectator:
Wine racks in the Gilliland wine cellar

There is also adjustable shelving for large-format bottles in the center of the room (you can also see a Rogar Estate bottle opener in the foreground; there is a 10% off coupon for these openers available on the Vintage Cellars Facebook, Twitter and email newsletter right now!):
Gilliland adjustable wine racks for large format bottles

The cellar is outfitted with insulated glass doors framed by a stone facade and opens into the dining room.

doors to the Gilliland wine cellar.

Small wine cellars can pack a surprising amount of wine and interesting features into a minimal space. This cellar, designed to enhance the owner’s enjoyment of their collection rather than to store investment wines, is a perfect example of how a small wine cellar can be a big enhancement to a home.

Ready to think about your own custom wine cellar project? Check out more Vintage Cellars custom wine cellars and call us for a free quote and design assistance.

Vintage Cellars Featured in Wine Spectator!

November 12th, 2010 No comments

inside a custom Vintage Cellars wine cellarVintage Cellars was delighted to be featured in Wine Spectator’s November 30th issue (on sale now). The article featured Vintage Cellars wine cellar projects in Escondido and San Diego, one of which is pictured above in high resolution. More from the article (click for larger images):

The Gilliland\'s 750-bottle wine cellar in San Diego, completed in \'09, features large-format storage.

The Gilliland’s 750-bottle wine cellar in San Diego, completed in ’09, features large-format storage.

More about the Gilliland wine cellar, including additional images.

Michael Thiemann\'s 4000-bottle San Diego wine cellar is the oldest featured--it was completed in \'03 and houses some lovely antique furniture in addition to wine.

Michael Thiemann’s 4000-bottle San Diego wine cellar is the oldest featured–it was completed in ’03 and houses some lovely antique furniture in addition to wine.


The Gerardy\'s Escondido wine cellar holds 4000 bottles and has a gorgeous slate floor.

The Gerardy’s Escondido wine cellar holds 4000 bottles and has a gorgeous slate floor.


Wine Spectator Cover

Look for this cover to pick up the issue!

You can pick up a copy at your favorite newsstand or wine shop to read more about these and other featured wine cellars. The article was split into sections on small, medium and large wine cellars, so it is worth a read for collectors of any scale.
For more photos of custom wine cellars, flip through the slideshows on our custom wine cellar design page. Thinking of building your own? We offer free design consultations and can work with you from sketches to finishing touches.

Custom Wine Cellar Photo Tour

May 27th, 2010 2 comments

Sometimes, even the best-chosen words fall short.  When you’re talking about some of the incredible wine cellars that Vintage Cellars has designed in the past, the pictures really are worth a thousand words.  Today, rather than waxing philosophical about wine tasting or discussing at length the benefits of wines from a particular climate, let’s take a pictorial tour of some of Vintage Cellars’ past projects.

I love the interesting shapes of the shelving in this wine cellar.  The curves and angles make the room so much more than racks of bottles.  And the tracked lighting does a great job of highlighting different parts of the room, showcasing the myriad different lines and textures hidden in a wine room.

I think that the cabinet really makes this wine room: its the delicate yet rustic design breaks up the racking, and the placement gives the eye a focal point, setting off, rather than distracting from, the wine around it.  And I love the display racks here, that store bottles vertically with the topmost bottle angled up, giving the wine connoisseur the ability to easily see what’s in each column.

The simple, almost Asian-style racking in this room gives it a clean, modern feel.  But my favorite detail of this room is the strong, minimalist ceiling archway.  It breaks the room up and makes it visually interesting, something that is really challenging to do in this kind of space, which, if you think about it, is really just a storage place for hundreds of bottles.

Wow.  This room is just magnificent.  There’s a lot of you could say about it, but I’ll limit myself to my three favorite things: 1. The small tasting table worked into the wall creates an intimate space in this gigantic wine room.  2. The stair-style shelving in the middle makes the wine seem to be spilling into the room from the ceiling–it just says opulence and luxury to me.  3. The special place for wooden wine crates.  They add a warm, textural feel to the room.

I love the display of decanters in this one.  They add such flowy, artistic shapes to a room of angles.

These Spanish-style doors are just gorgeous.  And how cool is it to have glass doors leading into your wine cellar? To be sure, the Vintage Cellars team has to work hard to ensure that these delicate glass and wrought iron doors seal just as effectively as heavy glass ones, but isn’t the beauty worth the effort?

This is a perfect example of a small space used well.  The different dimensions created by the shelving really make it visually interesting: it’s a corner rich with wines from around the world, which have traveled from hand to hand and place to place to come together here.

Curves are always a great addition to a wine cellar, because they help break up the visual monotony of racks upon racks.  But this sweeping staircase goes far beyond.  It truly gives the room a dramatic, elegant flair.  And small details like the wicker-covered wine jug in the foreground really add a personal touch.  These are stairs you could linger on, pondering your wine selection, for hours.

A Vintage Cellars Custom Wine Cellar in the Wine Spectator

October 20th, 2009 No comments

Vintage Cellars just had a unique custom wine cellar featured in the Wine Spectator. Actually, Jeff Strauss of the Pamplemousse in Solana Beach, Ca was the true feature of the article, but it was a Vintage Cellars design and build.

This was a totally unique custom wine cellar project. There are curved display features, 3 rows of high reveal display, coved shelves, pull out storage, wine glass display and even a mirrored solid archway. The custom handmade wine cabinetry in this cellar really highlights the display of wine.

Check out page 30 in the October 31st issue of the Wine Spectator (“A Chef’s Education) to see the feature on Jeff Strauss’ custom wine cellar and the Vintage Cellars photographs.

The Wine Cellar: New favorite room

September 11th, 2009 No comments
Before - The Cellar

Before – The Cellar

After - The Cellar

After – The Cellar


The Stan Story

Stan’s basement was a room fit for lawn equipment, a ladder and boxes filled with holiday decorations, but hardly a place to properly cellar over 2500 bottles of wine.  Wine is a delicate matter here at Vintage Cellars and cellaring wine at an improper temperature in an uncontrolled environment just doesn’t sit well on our palates.

When Stan and I first met, we had to immediately attack some issues:  time and wine!  He was moving in soon and had to transfer his collection.  We needed to work fast but we needed to think about both the present and the future.  We needed to build out, properly vapor barrier, insulate and cool the wine cellar.  Elevate the racks and create a raised wood floor in case the basement area ever retained water.  We needed a custom wine cellar design that could handle a collection of Bordeaux, Barolos, California Cabs, Oregon Pinots, 750’s, magnums, double magnums, cases and growing/changing every year.  There were plumbing pipes that needed access, a rear door entering a crawl space and electrical lines everywhere.  After several revisions and conversations, the former basement was Stan’s (and his wine’s) new favorite room.

“Vintage Cellars did this project on time and within my budget.  It’s now my favorite room in the house.” –  S.G.

Dining Room Nook Becomes Wine Cellar

August 13th, 2009 2 comments

Vintage View Wine WallCreating the “Modern” Wine Cellar

You’ve finally bought that house of your dreams and that 200 bottle Eurocave just can’t satisfy your desire to grow that wine collection.  Where are you going to build your personal wine cellar?  What about the 7 ft by 30 inch deep nook in your dining room?  Sure, we must consider how to cool the environment and prepare the room properly, but let’s assume it will work out.  It’s time to consider the décor of the home, how many bottles to store, the amount of space available and how to easily access the wine.  These factors are all tools to help determine what type of racking to use.

Wine consumption and collection has increased exponentially over the past 10 years.  To meet the market demands and the American consumer demands for quality and choice, the wine racking market has been exploding with new and exciting products.  Classic redwood wine racks, old world terra cotta clay wine tiles, new “green” recycled wine barrel racks and modern metal Vintage View racks are just the tip of the iceberg.

In this particular case, the home was modern/contemporary and the desired cellar capacity was about 400 bottles.  I couldn’t think of a better idea than to use Vintage View racking.  Using a small nook in the dining room (that also has a small window area into the kitchen), we developed a plan using sliding glass doors for access, floor to ceiling mounts and Vintage View racking.  The end result was a 432 bottle capacity wine cellar with a gallery wall of wine label artwork viewable from the dinning room table.  Outside of the beautiful results, this project met another important consideration: budget.  In this design, the wine racks and the installation came in under $3,000 (this does not include doors, room preparation or the wine cooling system).   Now there is money left over to help fill the space with wine bottles.

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.