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Posts Tagged ‘wine cellar construction’

Haunted Happenings at Charles Krug Winery

January 19th, 2012 No comments
The ghost of Charles Krug might be here, at Charles Krug/Peter Mondavi Family Winery

Napa Valley's first winery, established in 1861

If you’re inclined to believe in ghosts, St. Helena’s Charles Krug/Peter Mondavi Family Winery has been a “hot spot” for paranormal activity for years.  In fact, the winery’s founder, Charles Krug, claimed to have seen ghosts himself!  (To put this in perspective, the winery was founded in 1861.)  Current “sightings” have occurred most frequently in the winery’s Redwood Cellars built in 1872.  The ever-growing body of sightings was enough to prompt Vice President of Marketing, Paul Englert, to conduct a paranormal investigation of the winery.  Englert, who is “open to the possibility that [ghosts] exist,” says the winery’s ghost stories, true or not, are quite interesting either way.  He even knows two employees who have reported seeing spooks on the premises.

Ghost photo from a real séance in 1872

Photo of a séance conducted in 1872

Intrigued, Englert invited the San Francisco Ghost Society, and Leanne Thomas, a medium, to examine the facility.  Following an in-depth investigation by the San Francisco Ghost Society (which utilized an array of the latest paranormal detection technology), the Society turned up empty handed.  However, the team expressed great interest in revisiting the winery after more work in Redwood Cellars is completed this spring; they claim major renovations can sometimes arouse the interest of resident entities.   Leanne Thomas, on the other hand, claims to have seen the apparition of a woman wearing a blue dress.  (Numerous sightings have been reported of a woman in white strolling through the upper floors of Redwood Cellar.)  She also saw the spirits of a young boy and girl.

For curious tasters, Englert plans to host a “Wine and Spirits” (pun intended) dinner at the winery, which will also feature a seance!  In the meantime, “There are several people who have seen activity and things here. We’ll try to corroborate those stories.”  Given the winery’s lengthy history, there are artifacts around that go back over 100 years.  “It’s really interesting,” said Englert, “You kind of don’t know what you’re going to find when you open a closet.”  For the sake of the winery’s employees, hopefully not a ghost who says, “Boo!”

Creative Wine Racking 101

November 1st, 2011 No comments
Designer Series 6 Column Half Height Rack

Designer Series 6 Column Half Height Rack

If you and your significant other have talked about creating your own wine cellar, why wait?  Though Vintage Cellars’ wine racks are designed by experts, they can be assembled by novices in little time.  This means, with any of the Vintage Cellars wine racking kits, you’re destined for success!  Racks are designed to last a lifetime, and you can select just the right colors to match your decor. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Why, there’s no reason why you couldn’t create a wine labyrinth if you so chose!

Designer Series Double Waterfall Wine Rack

Designer Series Double Waterfall Wine Rack

Wine areas need not be stagnant spaces, either; you can mix and match styles of design to give a single room different atmospheres in different sections.  For instance, a formal wall containing Winemaker 2 Column Open Diamond Cubes can be contrasted by an opposing lighter, playful wall featuring black metal lattice wine racks.  An elegant diamond bin wine rack below a classic archway can be countered by a section of modern wine racking units, like the VintageView 3′ wine racks, and so on.  You can even use different designs to house different wines: dark, rustic ones for reds, and lighter ones for whites!  With so many types of wine racks to choose from, you’re limited only by your imagination.

If the above projects seem too ambitious, here’s an easy-yet-creative idea that is sure to attract attention: spell out a marriage proposal, or make an announcement with wine bottles.  If the bottles are racked, you can easily spell words and messages by placing red wines, strategically, amidst a “neutral” backdrop of whites.  You can even create simple images, similar to popular ASCII art we sometimes see on our friends’ Facebook posts.  Because this takes a little time and planning, your message will be all the more memorable (However, if your partner is one of the many wine lovers who organizes their collection obsessively, think twice before moving their collection around. And keep in mind that unnecessary movement isn’t a great thing for stored bottles–this plan might be best executed with some of the less-collectible bottles in the cellar!).

Have fun getting those creative juices flowing!

 

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!

What’s the Optimal Wine Storage Temperature?

August 1st, 2011 No comments

Designer Wine Rack Series Veneer Diamond Cube With Face TrimAs we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the temperature at which a wine is stored (and served) can bring out the best (or Traditional Redwood 2 Column Individual Wine Rack With Displayworst) of a given bottle, but an entire wine collection can be at stake if “ideal” storage temperatures are not maintained.  Many big collections have been unnecessarily damaged because of such unstable temperatures.  For example, temperatures above 65ºF encourage wine to age too quickly, causing their flavor and balance to suffer in the process.  Contrariwise, cellars that are too cold cause wines to lose their characteristic aromas and flavors. Rapid temperature fluctuations, too, can damage a wine’s cork and, thus, the wine as well.

Though the common temperature range for storing red wine has been between 50ºF and 55ºF, with whites stored as low as 45ºF, wine cellar expert David Spon (and Vintage Cellars!) recommends keeping a cellar at  55ºF, and at 60% to 75% humidity.  If the air is too humid, mold can grow and even damage your cellar’s wood.  If too dry, corks can crack.  David also notes that some people keep their cellars a little bit warmer if they store mostly young wines, and slightly cooler if their collections consist of older ones (since wines age more slowly in colder temperatures.)

If you don’t want to see your wine collection ruined, it’s a good idea to invest in a decent wine cellar or specially-crafted wine storage cabinet.  Stylish wine cellars can be built easily and affordably using designer wine racks or traditional redwood wine racks. Wine storage cabinets, like regal wine credenzas, also offer affordable (and classy) options.  Remember to store wine horizontally to keep the cork moist, and never freeze a bottle of wine!  When stored properly, and at the ideal temperature, your wine collection will age gracefully and provide anticipated delight.

Want to learn more about the correct storage conditions for your wine? Head over to the Wine Storage Education Center to read more about temperature, humidity, cooling systems and more. We’ve even done separate articles on the right storage conditions for red wine, white wine and sparkling wine/Champagne.

Vintage Series 4 Door Single Deep Credenza Wine Storage Console

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.

Introducing The Next Generation of WhisperKOOL Cooling Units

June 3rd, 2011 No comments

WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Cooling System

Just in at Vintage Cellars are the powerful WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Cooling System and the WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Fully Ducted Cooling System.  Both of these advanced products are high-end, self-contained cooling units at the very top of the WhisperKOOL line.  These state-of-the-art cooling units are brand new, replacing the earlier WhisperKOOL 4000 Platinum Extreme models, which were also exceptionally dependable.   Easy to install, and ready to work immediately afterward, the WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme upgrades are the next generation of cellar temperature control technology.  Complete with an advanced electronic control system, a remote digital LED readout, liquid bottle probe, humidity control, energy saving mode, and a 55° temperature differential–not to mention a two year parts and labor warranty–these nearly-noise-free cooling units are designed to work in any cellar space, even in extreme environments.  We’re very excited about these fantastic WhisperKOOL upgrades, and hope you’ll be, too!  Free standard shipping is offered on all WhisperKOOL units, and you’ll even receive a free set of two Riedel “O” Series Cabernet Wine Glasses with your order.  With WhisperKOOL technology, creating ideal cellar temperatures has never been easier!

WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Fully Ducted Cooling System

Sensaphone Wine Cellar Monitoring System

February 7th, 2011 No comments

wine cellar monitoringIf you’re a wine collector, you know that maintaining a constant humidity and temperature in your cellar is essential.  Your cellar is fitted with high-tech temperature and humidity controls that keep your bottles in the environment they need.  And those bottles represent a significant investment

But what happens if your power goes out?  The conditions in your cellar could shift dramatically, endangering your valuable collection.

The solution to this problem is an electronic wine cellar monitoring system, and Sensaphone offers a particularly elegant product.  The Sensaphone Wine Cellar Monitoring System keeps an eye on your wine cellar so you don’t have to.  If your power goes out or a break-in occurs, Sensaphone will track you down and let you know, calling multiple phone numbers until it reaches you.  Sensaphone can warn you if your smoke alarm goes off, if there’s a fire, if there’s flooding, or if your temperature or humidity are off-target.  You can even call your Sensaphone to make sure that all is well in your cellar, making it a great choice for someone who travels a lot or has multiple homes.

Your wine cellar represents a large investment, and making sure that investment is protected will give you peace of mind.

New Arrival: CellarCool CX Cooling Units

February 3rd, 2011 No comments

CellarCool CX 2200 wine cellar cooling unit

CellarCool CX 2200, for wine cellars up to 265cf

We’re pleased to announce a new product line! The CellarCool wine cellar cooling units are now available. CellarCool’s cooling systems are designed to offer excellent cooling power and dependability, at a price that’s affordable for beginning collectors. They are available in sizes for cellars from 265 to 2000 cubic feet and start at under $1000. The CellarCool systems are designed for simple through the wall installation, but should not be vented into areas where the temperature may exceed 85 degrees since they have a 30 degree temperature differential. This makes them best suited for indoor installations. The CellarCool CX series maintains temperature with a digital thermostat control that’s easy to set and read. Four models are available for various cellar sizes, and since the units are built in the same size and shape as other popular brands, CellarCool CX cooling units are typically a direct replacement for Breezaire and Wine Mate cooling units.

So if you’re in the market for your first wine cellar cooling system, or you need a solid and affordable replacement for your aging cooling unit, check out the CellarCool CX line of cellar cooling systems. Have questions? Leave a comment or give us a call–the Vintage Cellars team is here to help!

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.