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Posts Tagged ‘vintage cellars’

Wine Cellar FAQs

October 8th, 2013 No comments
Traditional Wine Cellar in Memphis, TN

Thinking about building a wine cellar, but find yourself bogged down by questions? Never fear. Below, we’ve compiled the questions we are asked most frequently about building wine cellars. Find the answers you’ve been searching for below. Have a question that’s not on this list? Contact us and we’ll answer it for you!

Q: Do I have to have  to store wine in a wine cellar?

A: If you’re a casual wine drinker who consumes bottles soon after you buy them, you probably don’t need a wine cellar. But if you’re a collector (or aspiring collector) or wine, you should protect your investment by storing it in the correct conditions. Wine stored in too-hot or too-cold conditions, at the wrong humidity, or in an environment in which temperature and humidity fluctuate, can mold, evaporate away, turn rancid, or undergo chemical changes that can make it taste unpleasant.

Q: Does a wine cellar require special construction?

A: Yes. Wine requires a unique environment different from that of your home. Wine cellars must maintain a temperature of between 55 and 78° Fahrenheit and humidity between 55 and 75 percent. This is far colder and more humid than your average house. A wine cellar has to be specially constructed to maintain and control this unique environment. The most important part of this construction is a vapor barrier, which keeps the high humidity in your wine cellar from migrating to the low humidity environment in the rest of the house. Vapor barriers are often overlooked by inexperienced wine cellar builders, leading to ruined wine and high repair costs for the owners later on.

Q: I don’t have underground space. Can I still have a wine cellar?

A: Absolutely. Long ago, people used to store wine underground because conditions were usually more optimal there than above ground. But with today’s technologies, we can create a wine cellar with perfect conditions in many different locations in a home. However, wine does need to be protected from light, heat and vibration, so picking a cool spot away from windows and excessive noise will save you on construction and energy costs.

Q: I don’t have a lot of extra room in my house. Can I use a closet?

A: You can! Small space should never limit your wine cellar aspirations. It is possible to convert a small space like a closet into a fully-functional and beautiful wine cellar. For proof, check out this 800-bottle cellar Vintage Cellars wine cellar constructed in a San Diego home.

Q: Do the wine racks have to be custom-built for my space? That sounds expensive.

A: No. While custom racks are certainly an option, there are many other kinds of racking systems available on the market today. A modular system like Vintner wine racks can give you the gorgeous custom feel without the high price tag. Vintner offers a variety of wine rack sizes and styles, such as columns, bins, and diamond racks, that can all be fitted together to perfectly suit your space.

Q: I love wine but I don’t have an eye for design. Can you help?

We’d be honored! Most of our clients know that they want a unique and beautiful space, but they don’t know exactly how to achieve that. We specialize in listening to what our clients want, then working with them to create a beautiful design that suits them and fits seamlessly into the rest of their home’s design. Contact us today to see what kind of wine cellar we can make for you!

 

Custom Cellar: Chino Hills

September 26th, 2013 No comments

Once in a while, the team at Vintage Cellars gets to take part in a unique custom wine cellar project with one of our clients. We always enjoy getting to stretch our creative minds while solving client needs. One of the ways a client with custom cellar needs can find us is through Houzz.com. After browsing our previous work for other clients and by seeing the variety of builds we have done in the past, our Chino Hills approached us to help design a custom wine cellar for their home.

Chino Hills Vintique

One of the unique aspects of this custom cellars build was a curved wall that would feature the wine collection. The room is located on the first floor off of the client’s bar area and the walls of the room follow the curve underneath their staircase. The client wanted to make use of the space while having it be an attractive display for their wine collection. To accommodate the uniqueness of the cellar’s location and pre-existing architecture of the space, we utilized the customizable Fontenay Vintique product line in order for this project to be completed. These custom racking systems are hand-crafted from new and reclaimed materials, embedding deep history into every new cellar.

Here is a link to the Chino Hills Final CAD where you can view the plans we drew up for this challenging custom cellar project.

Chino Hills Final CAD Preview

We loved that our client requested that this project take on a more “green” and environmentally friendly approach in design. To satisfy this request, we decided to go forward with this project by using Vintique recycled wine barrels to construct the racks. Even though the materials were recycled, this had no impact on the cellar’s ability to have racking that can hold approximately 450 wine bottles in storage. By turning the horizontal barrel staves inward, we were able to create a natural curve of the wines barrel to follow the curve of the wall. Here you can see the unique design of the lower bins called “spider bins”.

Chino Hills Vintique 3

Enclosed with a beautiful glass door and a large window looking into the space, we are happy to say this custom project was completed successfully and to the clients needs. Now when friends and family walk down the stairs in this Chino Hills home, they can peer through the window to see this gorgeous custom wine cellar design storing the client’s full wine collection.

Chino Hills Vintique 2

 

Custom Wine Storage Design Ideas

September 24th, 2013 1 comment

Thinking of having custom wine storage built, but overwhelmed by design options? You’re not alone. With dozens of materials and styles available for everything from flooring to wine racks, finding a place to start can be overwhelming. To get your creativity jump-started, here are five of our favorite custom wine storage design ideas:

We’re crazy for this wine cellar’s incredible cascading shelves. As well as adding tons of storage space, the shelves give the room a focal point and an opulent feel.

 

This wine cellar is gorgeous in every way, but what inspires us most design-wise is the contrast between the floor’s chunky stone flooring and the ceilings more elegant brickwork. The unique mix brings tons of texture and interest to the space.

 

We love this super-modern take on a wine cellar. Glass doors highlight the beautiful bottles rather than hiding them away, and the clean lines of the design make the cellar fit effortlessly into the room.

 

If you have big wine cellar dreams but a small amount of space to work with, take inspiration from this photo. Builders transformed a small breakfast nook in a beach house into a spacious wine cellar. Those beautiful glass-and-wrought-iron doors add a unique touch.

 

We love the lower drawers in this cellar designed to hold wine crates. Besides adding interest by visually breaking up the rows of racks, this design idea offers a great place to store those cases you picked up from your last Napa trip, giving your wine cellar a personal touch.

Custom Cellar: Poppa’s Wine and Spirits

August 6th, 2013 No comments

Poppa’s Wine & Spirits in Oxford, Mississippi had a business plan: to become the most high-end wine shop in the state. Poppa’s owners set off on an extensive search to find the perfect company to bring their vision to life.

Finally, Poppa’s owners found Vintage Cellars online, and saw that we offer commercial wine racking, and also free designs. They contacted us to come up with the perfect layout for their store.

When we visited, we were immediately struck by the size we were working with: the space was enormous! We immediately got down to the business of working out a design that utilized that huge space in a way that was both beautiful and functional. The room had to flow, with comfortable aisle width between the display racks, yet the wine had to be the main focus of the visit. In addition, wine is not the only thing Poppa’s offers. High end spirits is the second focus of the store. We had to make sure to work those bottles into the design in a fluid way.

Using the concepts we’d discussed and the space provided, we worked together to lay out a store that would allow for the maximum number of bottles possible to be on display, while also being comfortable and easy to navigate for the customer.The final design surpassed all of our goals. The racks hold more than 4,500 bottles. Unique circular racks catch the customers’ eyes and invite them to move farther into the store. Well-designed island racks make the wine easy to access, inviting customers to read the labels and pick up the bottles. We also designed a “high end” wine section using Vintage View racks that is temperature and humidity controlled, keeping the store’s (and customer’s) investment safe.

Not forgetting that wine wasn’t the store’s only focus, we created an area along one of the walls to showcase the store’s liquor collection. Poppa’s topped off the new space with an eclectic mix of art hung from the walls and displayed around the store. The final effect is at once both upscale and inviting. It’s a space we’d love to pop into for a few bottles and chat with the friendly staff, and we’re sure their customers feel the same way.Poppa's wine & spirits wine racking project

Custom Cellar Inspiration

April 23rd, 2013 1 comment

Vintage Cellars’ specialty is custom wine cellar designs. All wine cellars have to have functionality, of course. Racking and a cooling system are the bones any wine cellar must be built on. But when building a custom wine cellar, most clients have something more in mind than just mere functionality. Beyond storing their wine in perfect conditions for aging, a wine cellar should have a special stamp that makes it unique, and says something about the collector.

But dreaming up a unique design can be easier said than done. How to put your own brand on your custom design? Sometimes, the best way to get inspired is to jump-start your imagination with some fabulous examples. Here are five of Vintage Cellars’ favorite examples of unique wine cellar style:

Rolling library-style ladder:


This wine cellar at the Mariott Marina in San Diego makes use of vertical space and adds a bit of whimsy with a rolling, library-style ladder.

Glass doors:

Glass doors modernize this wine cellar, and dramatically make the collection the focus.

Wine cellar dining room:


Forget tucking your collection away in a hidden corner. This Louisiana wine cellar makes double use of the cellar as a stunning tasting room.

A dramatic arch with wine storage:


This arch gives this 1,500-bottle San Diego cellar a focal point.

Ceiling wine racks:

This wine cellar is already dramatic, with its tasting table and custom cabinetry…but when guests look up, the ingenious ceiling storage truly takes their breaths away.

Tell us about your dream wine cellar!

Featured Project: Contemporary La Costa Wine Cellar

March 25th, 2013 No comments

Curious about the process of building a wine cellar start-to-finish? Today we’re showcasing a new 800 bottle contemporary wine cellar we built in La Costa, California. The client, Don, presented us with a challenge: convert a study in his new home into a wine cellar with a unique design. Read on to find out how we did it.

custom wine cellar with vintageview wine racks

The Client

Don started collecting wine about six years ago and developed a love for California cabs. He began taking yearly wine tasting (and buying) trips, and wanted to start coming back with more wine but had nowhere to store it. It was time to get serious about his collection. He began his search for a wine cellar builder, came across Houzz and found Jake and Vintage Cellars’ work.

The Space

Don sent Jake a look at the model for his new home and explained that he wanted to convert the study into a cellar. He also wanted to be able to easily pick out a bottle visually, so the labels had to be prominently displayed.  Jake drew up a couple of designs, and came up with one that suited Don perfectly: a contemporary space completely different from your standard wine cellar.

The Project

Since the original room was a study, it wasn’t built for the challenges of storing wine in climate-controlled conditions. Jake and his team re-insulated the walls to ensure that the new cooling system would perform at its peak. They designed a custom cabinet to seamlessly fit the study’s curved wall. They installed a Vintage View wine racking system that displayed the majority of his collection labels-out, making it easy for him to locate the perfect bottle for a dinner party or cozy night at home. Their 800-bottle racking system also left space for storing larger bottles, and shelf-style racks below for storing bottles in larger quantities.  Lastly, Jake recommended Don use a door made to face outdoors in the cellar to keep the room insulated.

Jake and his team finished off the project with a central bar area, complete with wine artwork. Though Don never imagined himself lingering in the cellar, at the behest of his friends, he now finds himself turning off the cooling system for an hour at a time so that he and his guests can relax there! What was originally intended as a study is now a beautiful space that functions not only as a place for storing Don’s growing collection, but also as a conversation-starter and gathering space.

Click to enlarge each image.

Picking the Perfect Wine Credenza

February 27th, 2013 No comments

Many wine lovers face a dilemma. They’d love to start a collection (or have already begun one!), but they don’t have an out-of-the-way space for a wine refrigerator, and they’d rather not put that piece of equipment in their perfectly-decorated dining rooms. What they need is a wine storage solution that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. But does such a thing exist?

Budding wine collectors will be happy to know that the perfect solution does indeed exist. It’s called a wine credenza. A wine credenza is a piece of furniture that also has climate-controlled wine storage. Wine credenzas are often used in the place of a traditional buffet in a dining room. Instead of dishes stored inside, the cupboards are filled with your favorite vintages, aging away under ideal conditions. The top of the wine credenza can be used to display art, serve as a bar area, or hold dishes during gatherings like Thanksgiving.

Don’t have space in your dining room for a wine credenza? Think outside the box. Since wine credenzas don’t take up too much space–they’re only about 30 inches deep, they are also a perfect fit for hallways. Wine credenzas can also work in family rooms…you could even replace your TV stand with one!

From a design standpoint, the best thing about wine credenzas is that they can be completely customized to fit in to your existing decor. For those with traditional taste, there are credenzas like this Provance 3-door credenza from Vinotheque, available in light, medium and dark stains to blend it into your existing furniture. For those with a bolder aesthetic, there is this Vinotheque Boxed Up 4-door credenza, with a wooden exterior mosaic made of traditional wine shipping boxes. (This design would be great in a wine cellar!) For those homes with an industrial feel, try the clean, modern look of this Vinotheque AlumaSteel 3-door credenza.

Besides being beautiful, these wine credenzas really work to store and age your wine properly. Vinotheque credenzas are designed with your growing collection in mind–they all maximize the number of bottles they can hold while minimizing the overall size of the cabinet. These credenzas have top-of-the line cooling systems and insulation, along with UV-resistant glass that blocks harmful rays from damaging your wine. Many of these credenzas can also be made with a front venting option that allows the credenza to be custom-built into existing furniture.

Whatever your style, if you’re a serious collector who is looking for a storage option that will fit seamlessly into your home, a wine credenza might be the right choice for you.

Jake’s Corner: Three Days in Wine Country

February 12th, 2013 No comments

Our very own Jake Austad, master of custom cellar designs, is an expert at touring wine country, and wants to share his tips and tricks. Jake has insider advice on the best vineyards to visit, the best places to eat, and tourist traps to avoid. So pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of your favorite vino, and hear how an expert does wine country. Check back, because Jake will be blogging regularly in our new “Jake’s Corner” posts.

Day 1:

I would start the morning up north in Calistoga at Chateau Montelena, known almost more for its historical value than for its wines. The winemakers at Chateau Montelena are part of the group that started the Napa Valley wine boom. Tthe first thing I’d do would be to make a noon reservation at Duckhorn (reservations are required). Reserve the estate tasting and tour for a great experience. To learn something a little extra, do the food and wine pairing.

If you managed to resist the food at Duckhorn, I would travel into St. Helena for a late lunch at Brassica (Now called Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill and Wine Bar). It’s a Mediterranean place that has received rave reviews, and is a personal favorite of mine to boot.  At this point in time, you probably only have time for one more tasting. I would finish at Hall in St. Helena. Since Hall has no appointment needed and stays open until 5:30 PM, you won’t be tied to a tight schedule.  One of Hall’s new releases, a cab, was in the top 10 wines of 2011.

Since I’m a huge Iron Chef geek, I would eat dinner that night at Morimoto. It’s also in the revitalized river walk area in Napa, so if you’re looking to take a stroll before or after your meal, it’s a great place to do so.

Insider tip:  Don’t fall victim to the lure of the Napa Valley Wine Train. This tourist trap has three main pitfalls: 1. Trains are really not that romantic. 2. Unless they have improved the menu dramatically since 2000, the food is awful. 3. The wine list is not that impressive, and what is impressive is so marked up that you can’t bring yourself to drink it.

Day 2:

I would head up the Silverado Trail, especially if it’s a Saturday. The less inexperienced wine tasters will be driving up the 29, so this is a nice way to avoid them. Start the day with a 10AM appointment at Quintessa. It’s a property and vineyard tour, along with the wine caves and a tasting of three or four vintages. Like Duckhorn, it’s appointment-only, so you have to make a reservation in advance. I know the wine are fabulous. It’s also one of the few places in Napa that does estate-grown only. Quintessa is a Bordeaux-style blend that makes only one blended wine every year, so the vintage tasting will be unique.

After that, start heading back to Napa again, and hit Mumm just to clean the palate with some bubbly. It should be time to grab lunch, so I would cut over on Rutherford Road and hit Rutherford Grill for lunch. I love Rutherford Grill, and never miss an opportunity to go. There is a decision to make at this point. Option 1: One more tour at Chappellet, a unique experience that puts you up in the hills, and has some pretty good wine to boot. After a 90-minute tour and tasting, you should have enough time to hit Miner. If you are “toured out,” do Option 2: hit Miner on the way back towards Napa on the Silverado Trial. Most likely, you’ll make a quick visit, since you don’t want to miss your 2:30 tour reservation at Staggs Leap. Again, I’m a sucker for history, and Staggs Leap is another historic winery that started it all and has been around for over 100 years.

After Staggs, your last stop will be Darioush.  This winery doesn’t close until 5PM, and if you have anything left on the palate, they do some great cabs that are always cracking the top 100 wines of the year in the Wine Spectator. Take a nap after before hitting the French Laundry for dinner.  If super-rich French food is to much to stomach, try Coles Chop House or the Napa Valley Grill.

Day 3:

At this point, I’d pack the bags and drive over the mountain to Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Valley. Make a reservation at Charlie Palmer’s place, Hotel Healdsburg. Start at Zichichi and then drive south down West Dry Creek Road (eventually turning into Westside Rd). It’s a small, twisty, windy road but a offers a unique change from the large-cellar, big tour, big tasting rooms in Napa with little cottages and family-owned wineries. I’d go all the way down to Porter Creek Winery a few miles down. You taste their wines in a little cottage, and often, the winemaker is the guy pouring the wines. Porter Creek is also a fully organic place, tends to bottle a lot of grapes that are normally blended (like cab franc).

From there, start making the venture back towards Healdsburg.  Another great stops on the way is Williams Seleym (always a top 100 producer). It’s not a bad idea at this time to go park back at the hotel and walk around the square in Healdsburg. There is Stephen & Walker, which has a fabulous port, and several other places to check out. And if you need to switch to beer, there is a brewing company in the square. This way, you can take a day without reservations or a schedule, and just do whatever you want,  from a simple sandwich lunch to a pastry at the downtown bakery, to Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen for dinner.

Vintage Cellars Wins Customer Satisfaction Award

February 6th, 2013 No comments

Every year, the design website Houzz.com selects from its long list of contractors and designers to award professionals for outstanding customer service. This year, that award went to Vintage Cellars!

Houzz selected Vintage Cellars for its “Best Of Houzz” 2013 award based on our excellent customer reviews given by their users, which number more than 11 million each month. Users rates their experience working with design professionals in 12 categories. The award is meant to honor Houzz professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in customer satisfaction. Fewer than 3% of Houzz professionals received this award.

We at Vintage Cellars put customer satisfaction at the top of our priority list. We take pleasure in bringing your design ideas to life in your custom wine cellar. We believe that we should be the experts in everything from the mechanics of the cooling system to the best type of wine racks out there, so that you can concentrate on the final product. We’re proud of every wine cellar we design, and we’re glad our reviews on Houzz reflect that.

Houzz connects potential customers to designers and contractors in the home design industry. They publish “Ideabooks” that help inspire clients’ visions for great home design projects, in categories like decorating, gardening, color, bathrooms, and iconic homes. Houzz also curates lists of products chosen by experts. Perhaps most importantly, Houzz helps puts potential customers in tough with local pros, facilitating the process of choosing the right person for your project with customer reviews. Contractors and designers can show off their work, join in discussions, and connect directly with home owners.

On Houzz, homeowners can find professionals like Vintage Cellars in the top of their fields. They can choose a professional whose design aesthetic matches their own, and learn more about them by contacting them directly on Houzz to ask questions about their experiences, and evaluate their responses to other questions asked by Houzz community members.

We’re thrilled to have been selected for this honor by Houzz, and we pledge to continue to provide our clients with stellar customer service.

Check us out on Houzz!

New WhisperKOOL SC Series Wine Cellar Cooling Systems

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

whisperkool sc seriesVintage Cellars is proud to now offer WhisperKOOL SC Series Cooling Systems. The SC Series, which replaces WhisperKOOL’s popular XLT Series, offers wine collectors the latest in wine cooling technology, providing both quality and value in durable wine cellar cooling units.

Having incorporated feedback from WhisperKOOL customers and installers, this new line of wine cellar coolers includes an updated housing design and the latest system technologies. The new SC Series comes in five models: SC 2000i, SC 3000i, SC 4000i, SC 6000i, and SC 8000i.

Contained within the compact structure of the WhisperKOOL SC Series is highly powerful and sophisticated wine cooling technology. The SC Series offers vibration-free cooling for up 2,000 cubic feet of storage space while maintaining a 30°F temperature differential. Furthermore, the SC Series’ advanced digital controller and liquid temperature probe ensures that a stable temperature is maintained for the bottle contents rather than the air in the room.

One of the most outstanding features of this new line of wine cellar coolers is its convenient installation. The SC Series compact structure fits perfectly between standard wall studs, reducing installation time and costs.

To learn more about the WhisperKOOL SC Series wine cooling system, check out our brand new SC Series page. If you’d like assistance in selecting the best unit for your needs, please call us at 1-800-876-8789.