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Posts Tagged ‘custom wine cellars’

Custom Accents for Wine Cellars: Fontenay Flooring

January 29th, 2013 No comments

Beautiful Cooperage floor from Fontenay

Looking to add a subtle, yet show-stopping accent to your wine cellar? Consider a gorgeous, custom wood floor…made entirely from reclaimed barrels and tanks. Fontenay, the world’s original source of reclaimed wine barrel flooring, installs one-of-a-kind wood flooring that tells a story of winemaking in the very grain of the wood.

Imagine a floor that displays remnants of wine names, dramatically dispersed amongst the planks. With a custom floor made from reclaimed wine barrels, you can go for this or any other look you desire, from streamlined planks in matching hues, to a beautifully rustic mismatched look. There are several distinctly different types of Fontenay flooring to choose from.

Fontenay collects barrel heads, and turns them into three different materials. The first is the Cooperage collection, which is the outside of the barrel head, complete with the special patina earned from age, as well as stamps and brand markings that winemakers have put on the barrels.

The second type of material is the Wine Infusion collection. This wood comes from the inside of the barrel, and so has been naturally stained with the color of the wine the barrel held. Different types of wine deliver different colors and tones, so a Wine Infusion collection floor can represent a stunning variety of all your favorite varietals.

The third type of material is the Stave collection. This collection comes from the outer part of the barrel, from which the hoops have been removed. Stave flooring comes in an interesting and eye-catching pattern made from long and short pieces, with natural markings from the barrel hoops.

Not only is a floor made from reclaimed wine barrels beautiful, it’s eco-friendly, too. In the United States, most wine barrels are made from beautiful white oak, which can take hundreds of years to grow. But the life of a wine barrel ranges from a mere one to five years, and large vineyards can use as many as 100,000 barrels per year. If you choose Fontenay flooring, you can feel good about making a flooring choice that’s good for the planet, as well as a unique and gorgeous design.

Custom Accents for Wine Cellars: Artwork

January 17th, 2013 No comments

Collectors building custom wine cellars often struggle with a question: “How do I make my wine cellar reflect me?” Wine is your true passion, so you want your wine cellar to be more than just rows and rows of bottles. You want it to reflect your personal style, and say a little something about you and your love of wine.

One create way to add that special personal touch to your wine cellar is with artwork. A print, painting or mosaic can speak volumes about you and your taste, helping make your wine cellar unlike any your guests have ever seen before. But where to get started? Here are our top five picks for wine cellar artwork. Have a favorite that we missed? Tell us in the comments!

  1. ESPARANTOstudio print

    Prints: Modern and edgy, graphic prints can say a lot with just a few words. Wine-themed prints are often witty and clever, making them great for the connoisseur with a sense of humor. Try this “Life is too short to drink bad wine” print from  seller ESPARANTOstudio, or these wine-themed graphic prints, uniquely printed on vintage dictionary pages, from Etsy seller TheSalvagedSparrow.

  2. Mosaics: For a piece of artwork that is totally unique, consider a handmade mosaic mural. Mosaics can be made of small bits of glass, fine china, porcelain, or a mix. The mosaic artist composes the pieces into a decorative image, then grouts the pieces and seals the creation. A mosaic can be placed on walls, framed, surround an archway, or cover a tabletop. An artist can create an image unique to you: think your favorite wine region in Spain, or your favorite place to drink a glass in the backyard.
  3. AnnToozeFineArt pastel

    Paintings: A wine painting can add a focal point to your wine cellar, and become a conversation-starter between you and your guests. Whether you’re drawn to soft watercolors or a bold, modern style, you can find a wine-themed painting that perfectly suits your taste. Browse these beautiful original pastels from Etsy seller Anna Tooze Fine Art. For something extra-special, look for art that uses reclaimed materials, such as this wine bottle and glass silhouette painting.

  4. DIY cork art. Been saving your corks for a rainy day? You can use old corks to create a variety of totally original art pieces that would be fabulous addition to a wine cellar. For inspiration, check out this fabulous wall hanging, this cork monogram, or this wine cellar door completely covered with cork halves. Now that’s a unique piece!
  5. Vintage posters. Do you have a thing for all things vintage? A vintage wine ad poster might be the perfect way to put your personal stamp on your collection. Frame one print as a focal point for your cellar, or try a gallery wall that showcases your favorite vintages in style. Check out this Contratto champagne ad, and this Sandeman’s port ad.

Custom Accents for Wine Cellars: Wine Racks

December 11th, 2012 No comments

Whether you’re a casual collector who keeps a couple of bottles around for special occasions, or a serious aficionado who has a custom cellar packed with carefully-catalogued wine bottles, one of the keys to maintaining your wine collection is learning about the different types of wine rack styles available. Wine racks hold bottles, of course, but they can also help provide the optimal conditions for wine aging, as well as adding a touch of beauty to your wine collection.

What does a wine rack do?

You can’t store wine properly just by putting it on any old shelf. This is because wine racks are designed to keep your bottles stored at the proper angle. The right angle of storage ensures that the cork is completely covered in wine, preventing it from drying out. A dry cork can interfere with the oxygen levels within your wine, interfering with the aging process or even causing your wine to go bad.

Within the world of wine racks there are many variations. Wine racks can be small or large, and come in many styles, from modern to traditional to antique. Here are three of the most popular and unique types of wine racks among wine collectors today:

Hanging wine racks

Most wine racks resemble shelves, so if you’re going for an aesthetic that’s a little unusual, hanging wine racks might be the right choice for you. Hanging wine racks showcase a column of floor-to-ceiling shelves that display wine racks horizontally and parallel to the floor.

Since hanging wine racks don’t display bottle facing outwards, they take up far less room than traditional wine racks, and so are often ideal for kitchens or other smaller spaces. Hanging wine racks store bottles at the appropriate angle for aging, and also have the added advantage of allowing the label to be clearly displayed, making finding the right bottle a simple task.

Metal lattice wine racks

Another unique choice is metal lattice wine racks. If you’re on a budget, or just appreciate a clean, simple aesthetic, these might be the right choice for you. Metal lattice wine racks are a set of interlocking, heavy-gauge wire shelves. Available as a kit, metal lattice wine racks are a great choice for a do-it-yourselfer. Each kit holds 150 bottles, making metal lattice wine racks a great choice for the avid collector.

Metal wine racks are also a great choice for commercial wine sellers, because they are cost-effective and easy to set up and move around. Many commercial wine sellers choose to use metal wine racks for their back-room storage, and more traditional wooden wine racks in their retail section. We carry a wide variety of wine racks designed for retailers.

 

Stackable wine racks

Do you love the look of custom wine racks, but shy away from the price tag? Stackable wine racks may be the best solution for you. Stackable wine racks don’t have the high price tag of custom wine racks, but they can be modified to fit your space much better than a wine racking kit. Stackable wine rack sets come in a choice of elegant wooden finishes, and offer a variety of different styles that you can mix and match to fit seamlessly into your space. There are wide and narrow column-style wine racks, curved wine racks for corners, “waterfall” shelves that add visual interest, and even arched wine racks for over doorways. By choosing a set of the right stackable wine rack pieces for you, you can create a beautiful, customized wine cellar look without the high price.

 

 

 

Custom Accents for Wine Cellars: Doors

November 13th, 2012 No comments

If you’re thinking about installing a custom wine cellar in your home, you know that you want the space to be functional, but also beautiful. After all, your collection will represent wines from around the world, careful hand-picked by you, and aged to their utmost in the perfect conditions. Shouldn’t you show them off a little?

Much of what goes into your wine cellar is based on function. Your cooling system, insulating design, and even your wine racks are all chosen to create the ideal environment in which your bottles will age. So even though you want to show off your collection, it might seem hard to find a design opportunity. Decorative cellar doors are a great way to put your personal stamp on your wine cellar. After all, they’re the first thing anyone visiting your cellar will see. And though your cellar will mostly be closed, your cellar doors will always be visible. Gorgeous doors are a great way to reflect the beauty within your bottles. You can choose from a variety of cellar door styles to truly make your door stand out:

Classic Doors

If you’re looking for wine cellar doors that blend seamlessly into the deign aesthetic of your home, classic doors might be the right choice for you. Most classic doors are constructed of a combination of wood and glass, allowing you to peek inside at your collection. The glass can be etched with custom designs to really set your cellar doors apart: think your initials or even a fanciful family crest. And don’t be concerned that the glass-and-wood design isn’t ideal for maintaining the temperature and humidity inside your cellar. Though they are beautiful, these doors were designed with function first: each door is two inches thick, and the glass is constructed of two glass panels, 3/16ths of an inch wide, with an insulating airspace in between. Classic doors are a great choice for a collector looking to put a beautiful, personal touch on his collection.

Ornate Doors

For someone looking to make his cellar doors the showpiece of his cellar design, ornate doors are a great choice. Ornate doors are constructed of sturdy glass panels, just like classic glass wine cellar doors. Then, that glass is decorated with wrought-iron scrollwork. Doors can be made in an arch, soft arch, or square designs. And a variety of customizations in the iron work are available as well, meaning that you can work with a designer to create one-of-a-kind doors that put an unforgettable stamp on your collection. Distinctive ornate cellar doors are a beautiful way to showcase your wine collection.

Wine Barrel Doors

Looking for something so fabulous and unique that it will always be a conversation-starter when you have house guests? Wine barrel doors might be the right choice for you. For wine barrel doors, a mission-style frame is created, and then the spaces are filled with sections of reclaimed wine barrel. Besides reflecting the wine collection that resides behind the doors, this reclaimed wine barrel wood has beautiful, unique characteristics from its years of use. A variety of wine barrel door styles allow you to show off these characteristics in whatever way you choose: cooperage wood is cut to show off authentic stamps and markings from old oak barrels; wine-infused wood is taken from the inside of barrels to show of the deep, rich color it has gained from years of holding wine; and stave wood is careful refinished to keep the natural qualities of each barrel stave intact. For something unique that reflects the natural beauty of wine, wine barrel doors are a great choice.

Wine cellar doors are more than just a way to keep your collection at the correct conditions for aging. The right wine cellar doors will not only keep your collection safe and secure, they’ll say something beautiful about you and the collection you’ve so carefully curated. Interested in a custom wine cellar door? Call us today to speak to a wine storage expert about your cellar needs.

 

Wine Bottle History

November 24th, 2011 No comments

When we talk about aging wine, rarely do we realize just how recent a phenomenon wine aging actually is.  As mentioned in a previous post (Fun Wine Trivia), wine was not originally stored in bottles.  And when wine was not transported in animal wineskins, it was stored in large clay containers and secured with sealants called terracotta amphorae.

ancient clay jugs

Ancient Clay Jugs (Photo by Thomas Reichart)

While these 7000+ year-old clay jugs were kept in cool places, evidence suggests the wine inside was not aged nearly as long as most bottled wine is today.  In fact, when wine was later stored in wooden barrels for the first time, it was “aged” for a possibly shorter period of time.  Depending on the barrel’s construction, sometimes a wine’s barrel life was just long enough to transport it to its final trade destination before spoiling.  It was only when glass blowing technology was re-perfected (c.a. the 18th century) that glass bottles with smaller bottlenecks allowed for airtight wine storage.  This is when it finally became possible to age wine in the tradition we follow, today. Interestingly, while the English were the first to seal wine bottles with cork, wine bottles were not the first bottles to be corked.  Medicines, beer, and bottled beauty products benefited from corks long before wine!  Since aging wine is a recent development (relatively speaking), it’s amazing that the art of wine aging has been perfected to such a fine degree so rapidly.

Climadiff Diva 265 Bottle Multi-Temperature Wine Cabinet

Climadiff Diva 265 Bottle Multi-Temperature Wine Cabinet

We now know so much about optimal temperature control, humidity levels, and harmful UV rays, that custom wine cellars can be designed to optimally age any collection of wine.  And many wine storage units, like the Climadiff Diva 265 Bottle Multi-Temperature wine cabinet, even have UV-resistant doors.  Perhaps the most exciting thing about aging wine is that, just when we think we know all there is to know about it, some new discovery or innovation makes us think again: a new way to preserve wine, a new way to seal bottles, or new scientific information that allows for even greater precision when aging wine for optimal taste.  For more fascinating information about the history of wine aging, check out Vintage Cellars’ The Science of Wine Aging.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you’re busy cooking today, check out our post from earlier this week on red & white wine sauces to go with your turkey and choosing wine for your Thanksgiving meal, or run through the wine & turkey or holiday tags for even more ideas!

Wine Collections: Fantastic Investments in Uncertain Times

October 13th, 2011 No comments
A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States (image from Wikipedia)

To date, the most expensive bottle of wine sold at auction was a 1787 label-less bottle with “Lafite” and “Th. J.” etched on its front; it was a bottle of wine which some believe to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson.  (The controversy surrounding this claim continues.)  Though the value of the wine was listed as “inestimable,” it sold for 105,000 pound sterling on December 5th, 1985.

With today’s economic uncertainties, instead of investing in stocks, several people are deciding to invest in tangible items like rare works of art, original manuscripts by famous authors and composers, clocks, watches, gemstones, old cars, and… wines!  Much of today’s “wine investment” focuses on old and rare wines, similar to the “Jefferson” bottle (mentioned above, and purchased by Christopher Forbes).  Earlier in 2011, a collection of 300 bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild sold in Hong Kong for $540,000, making the record books for the highest-valued lot at any wine auction this year (so far).

Wine collections, unlike many equities, have value that appreciates quickly because of continued (and growing) interest of collectors worldwide.  And since investing in various financial services has become less-than-promising for many people (low interest rates, stock markets too temperamental, etc.), purchasing wine allows collectors to invest in something that is not completely dependent on the state of the global marketplace.

So if, like many others, you’ve been burned by the stock market, perhaps investing a small portion of your net worth in a wine collection may be worth considering.  You’ll have a tangible product in your cellar that, if stored properly, will most likely appreciate.  Plus, if wine is your hobby, you’ll have a great deal of fun searching for those elusive bottles!  If you do decide to invest in a serious wine collection, and do not yet have a wine cellar, visit Vintage Cellar’s custom wine cellar page to learn how easy it is to have a professional cellar designed to house the treasures you acquire.  Who knows?  Perhaps your collection will make the record books for being a high-valued lot, too?

Meet Our New Custom Cellar Design Request Form!

August 22nd, 2011 No comments

Custom Wine Cellar Design

Have you always dreamed of having your own wine cellar? Or, if you’re new to collecting, is your cabinet filling up faster than you expected? It might be time to look into building a custom wine cellar—and Vintage Cellars is the exact right place to come.

Use the new Custom Cellar Design Request form, easily accessible from our Custom Wine Cellar Design page, to tell us all about your dream wine cellar. You’ll need to have an idea about the size of your collection, your desired cooling system, and your budget, as well as the intended location of your wine cellar. Once we have all of your information, we will contact you about your cellar design. We will do our best to meet your budget needs and timeline by incorporating our racking kit styles into your design.

Just look for this button (or just click this one!):

Custom Cellar Design Request Button

And get ready to discuss the luxury custom wine cellar you’ve been wishing for!

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.

A Wine Cellar from Scratch (and Vintner Wine Racking Kits)

April 29th, 2011 No comments

Back Wall

After moving from Midtown Manhattan to a home in upstate New York, Rick Fraser finally had the necessary space to create his own wine cellar capable of housing 2,000 bottles.  He consulted Vintage Cellars, and decided to use approximately 61 Vintner wine racking kits to construct the cellar he envisioned.  When complete, he wrote us with photographs of his elegant, finished cellar that we would like to share with you.

Once Rick embarked on the project, it took him about 200 hours to complete.  Rick tells us he believes his time was actually extended because of additional “effort to ensure the room was properly sealed,” as well as extra time “required to install the 16×16 [inch] slate tiles, Tuscan accent walls, and raised panel tin ceilings.”   He also tells us he is sure the project would have been finished far more quickly if he had only to assemble the wine racks.

Right Wall

“The installation of the racks was actually one of the less time consuming efforts, and no special tools were required,” says Rick, although he also recommends using a 2″ pneumatic brad nailer to speed up assembly time.  Looking at the photographs, you can see how well the Vintner racks easily accommodated to the shape of Rick’s cellar.  “The quality of the Vintner racks was outstanding and each piece required no additional cuts during assembly,” Rick recalls.

Left Wall

It’s amazing that such a professional-looking cellar was created using easy-to-assemble wine racking kits that did not require any trimming or professional assistance. Rick thinks so, too.  “Once the project was complete, I stepped back and looked at the beauty of the Vintner racks.  I was very surprised that this was something I was able to create myself.” And we’re happy to have helped you, Rick!

Perhaps Rick Fraser’s project will inspire you to create or spruce up your own wine cellar?  If so, we’d love to hear from you, too.  And thank you, Rick, for sharing your beautiful work with us.

While the Vintage Cellars team is well-known for our custom wine cellar projects, we are also delighted to assist with semi-custom projects like this one. Wine racking kits are, as you can see, an excellent option for getting a custom cellar look without a professional build team. Contact us with your questions; we’re always happy to help you design and construct the wine cellar you’ve been dreaming about.

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.