This stunning custom wine cellar graces the lower level of a luxury home in Ridgefield, CT fully equipped with a pass-through window, tasting table, archway and a custom split cooling system. We were able to visit this customer's cellar as well as their gorgeous connected tasting room and bar…just take a look.
We asked the customer to share some comments about the design and construction of this unique, custom wine cellar…
“We had three EuroCaves that housed our wine collection but after two trips to Napa and one to Bordeaux we quickly out grew our storage capacity. At the same time, we wanted to complete an unfinished basement. So, we designed the basement around the wine cellar.
The key design elements were old barn wood beams/floors and a window from the wine cellar into the common space. The idea of the beams came from one of our favorite tasting rooms, Ehlers Estate in St. Helena. The window was the result of a wonderful meal at the French Laundry. We were fortunate enough to dine next to the window into their wine cellar and the sommelier was kind enough to open it for us. During dinner he would pass wine through the window and we wanted to recreate that feeling in our basement.
The goal of the cellar was to serve as a cornerstone to his basement as it is the first thing you see. With an open canvas, and looking to make it large enough to house the customer's expanding collection, we really had fun with the design work.
Beyond the design elements, the layout of the cellar was left up to David. We sent him our inventory list and general ideas on what wines we hoped to purchase in the future. From that, he designed several alternative layouts that were optimized for our wines. Enough shelf space for some of our odd shaped red bottles and maximum capacity for our smaller bottled whites. He also suggested vertical displays that could be used for larger format bottles and thankfully recommended more diamond bins that I thought we would need to store full cases.
One specific need in this cellar was storage for his cases that were flown in from his travels through various Napa Estates. The consultation process resulted in a design that everyone was thrilled with allowing production of the racking to begin at once.
When we secured the beams for the celling David matched the wood color and suggested we go with California Redwood Dark Walnut Stain.
The high reveal shelves were a great suggestion as was the arch on the far wall. The curved arch was a nice offset to all the harsh angles and resulted in our pass through window also being arched (artistic license as the French Laundry cellar window is a rectangle).
Once the split cooling system was installed, the custom Arched French Doors were next followed by the racking for 1750 bottles. This was one of the most intricate and interesting spaces I have worked with due to the custom stonework and wood beams.
We elected to keep the center of the cellar open so we could put a tasting table in. The table was chosen so we could use the space below to store wooden boxes in a rustic, stacked manner. We have the option of passing wine through the window and tasting in the bar area so table also give us the option of removing it in the future and adding additional racking should our collection outgrow the current configuration.
David selected the installer so we didn't have to worry about finding a qualified individual nor about whether it would be built as planned. The parts arrived. The installer followed. After a few days of activity in the basement the cellar was done. No mess. No stress.
One of the coolest features is the pass-through window into the rest of the basement tasting area. This cellar was truly a team effort by all parties involved and one space that I hope will be enjoyed for years to come.
Do you have a Wine Enthusiast-designed wine cellar that you would like us to profile in an upcoming catalog or on our web site? If so, simply contact your Storage Consultant or email us HERE.