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Posts Tagged ‘wine cellar construction’

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: 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

Wine Cellars for Small Spaces

June 14th, 2013 No comments

You’re a wine lover who’s dying to start a collection. You drool over photos of others peoples’ expansive wine cellars, with their rows upon rows of bottles just waiting for the perfect day to be opened. But you don’t have a handy underground space, or an extra room that can be converted into the wine cellar you covet. You might live in a small house or even an apartment. But just because you have a small living space doesn’t mean you have to give up your big wine cellar dreams.

 

Vintage Cellars is no stranger to the challenges of building a fully-functioning, temperature- and humidity-controlled wine cellar in a small space. For homeowners in San Diego, CA, Vintage Cellars had just 80 square feet to work with, but managed to build the perfect space to neatly house 750 bottles.

 

Of course, no space, no matter the size, can be a successful wine cellar without the proper sealing, vapor barriers, and installation. Vintage Cellars experts took the care to outfit this small space just like they would a more traditionally-sized wine cellar. And just because the cellar is small doesn’t mean it’s lacking in the looks department. Clean-lined glass doors both show off the wine and open up the relatively small space. Vintage Cellars also installed adjustable shelving to house the homeowners’ special collection of large-format bottles. The shelving allows the clients to showcase this unique aspect of their collection, giving it a personal touch.

 

But what if you don’t have the ability to knock out a wall to build the small-scale wine cellar of your dreams? Even if you’re renting a small apartment, you still have options. One great space-conscious choice is a wine refrigerator. This wine cabinet by Vinotheque holds 448 bottles, and can be housed in an out-of-the-way corner or even a garage. Still too large? This credenza-style wine cabinet holds 216 bottles, and can double as a buffet in a dining room, or even act as a console table in a hallway. Still don’t have room? This small-scale wine refrigerator from Marvel slides right underneath a kitchen counter, and takes up just 15 inches of space, while holding an impressive 23 bottles.

It may seem like you need an enormous mansion to house a wine collection. But that isn’t true. With a little imagination, you can store your bottles no matter what your living situation, whether by building a small-scale cellar into your house, or by simply sliding a tiny refrigerator underneath an existing counter.

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!

Breezaire Cooling Units

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Breezaire cooling unit in a wine cellarWhen most people think of a wine cellar, they think of the aesthetic: a grand door, gorgeous wooden racking, perhaps a piece of wine-themed artwork. And of course, these aspects of your wine cellar are incredibly important; they’re what make it fit seamlessly in the design of your home, work with your lifestyle, and put a stamp on your cellar that’s uniquely yours.

But one of the most important parts of a wine cellar is one that’s entirely behind the scenes: the cooling system. Wine cellar cooling units are much more than air conditioners. They control not only temperature, but also humidity. They are specifically engineered to create the ideal environment for preserving and aging wine. The best wine cellar cooling units not only control the environment, but constantly monitor it, allowing you to see at a glance that your wine is being taken care of.

There are many companies that manufacture wine cellar cooling units, but only a few that do it to the exacting standards that your valuable wine collection deserves. One of the best manufacturers of wine cellar cooling units is Breezaire. Some of Breezaire’s excellent features include:

  1. Gentle cooling: Most air conditioning systems blast the room with a stream of freezing-cold air. But this kind of extreme temperature can interfere with the delicate wine aging process. Breezaire cools by using a gentle stream of cool–not cold–air, which keeps the wine protected from abrupt temperature changes.
  2. Automatic humidity control: Humidity is vital to a wine cellar. The proper level of humidity helps prevent label deterioration, and more importantly, cork deterioration, which can ruin your wine. Breezaire systems maintain humidity at an ideal level of 50 to 75 percent.
  3. Quiet operation: Your wine cellar should be a place you enjoy being. A noisy cooling system can ruin your sense of peace and tranquility. Beyond that, vibrations–even those too small for a human to detect–can interfere with your wine’s aging process. Breezaire systems are assembled by hand and tested to ensure that the level of noise and vibration is kept at an absolute minimum.
  4. Simple and elegant installation: Breezaire systems are designed to require no special plumbing, wiring, or complicated procedures to install. Once installed, Breezaire systems are design to sit flush with the wall, and are virtually unnoticeable.
  5. Expert support: Installing a cooling system can be tricky. Breezaire has a team of experts equipped to design the perfect system, problem-solve, and maintain your system far into the future.

Interested in building the wine cellar of your dreams, complete with a cooling system that will help you build the wine collection of your dreams? Contact a Vintage Cellars expert to talk about the best options for you.

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.

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: 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.

 

Spotlight: The Vintage Series Wine Room 2600

March 8th, 2012 No comments
Vintage Series Wine Room 2600

Vintage Series Wine Room 2600

Looking for an alternative to an actual wine cellar in your basement?  Ever consider a freestanding, walk-in wine cellar?  That’s right!  Vintage Series wine rooms are easy-to-assemble, walk-in wine rooms that are all-in-one wine cooling and storage facilities.  Made from reinforced panels to prevent warping, and featuring a built-in Breezaire cooling unit to ensure precise wine storage temperature control, the Vintage Series Wine Room 2600 is an excellent, self-contained alternative to a traditional wine cellar.

You’re even able to customize your Vintage Series Wine Room by selecting an appropriate wood type and stain of your choice.  Your unit’s door can be made of solid wood, or you may opt for a door with a window.  You’re also able to add split panels, interior lighting, double insulation, and a security lock to your wine room, if desired.  The Vintage Series Wine Room 2600 features a premium Breezaire cooling unit, a natural oak and mahogany interior, quality redwood racking, empty floor space to stake cases of wine, and a 3-year warranty on the cooling unit and cabinet.  What is more, this wine room can hold up to 2,540 bottles of wine.  For a freestanding wine room, a capacity like this is fantastic!

For less than half the cost of having your boiler and hot water tank replaced (based on average replacement costs), you can have an attractive, fully-functional wine room in your own home! Consider this, or one of our many other wine room options, as a practical option for nearly any home. Need more information? Give us a call at 1-800-876-8789 and one of our wine storage experts will be delighted to help.