White oak wine cellar features complex curves, storage and entertainment space
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2022 Top Shelf Design Awards

Best of Show and Wine Cellar category winner

Designer: Darryl Hogeback, Savante Wine Cellars

Category: Wine Cellar

Project Title: Mountain Modern Wine Cellar

Project Description: 

This Mountain Modern Wine Cellar is designed to be the centerpiece of the homeowner's love of entertaining and passion for wine collecting. Nestled with access from the lower floor bar and gaming area and by concrete spiral stairs up to the main floor kitchen and dining, this wine cellar presents an elegant welcome to the celebrations within. The center dining and tasting area allows for a comfortable experience of storytelling and traveling back to the remembrance of each bottle's vineyard.  

Project Construction: 

The construction details of this project are complex and extremely difficult to execute. The three walls of racking are anchored by a confluence of curves in each corner that allows a detailed transition to and from the straight wall sections. In each corner are 12 high rows of 12 bottle concave steam-bent curves above the 3 round carousel racks. Each carousel was also made of steam-bent components and holds 20 bottles,10 lying flat and 10 lying at a display angle, creating an efficient and intriguing use of space. Each carousel smoothly and independently rotates around the center support on custom-made bearings. Concaved mullions border the opening as LED lighting highlights the bottles within.  

The curved crown molding was laminate glued using thin strips of white oak clamped to a custom form. The resulting 16-foot-long piece was then shaped and sanded to the specifications of the crown molding profile. This allowed for a smooth transition without any seams or joints in the curve. The vertical mullions between racks feature lacewood veneer dyed to a rich, deep black to accent the chiseled edge of the countertop. The base and capital of each mullion were individually hand cut, formed, and sanded. Each straight section also has a display row at the counter and has specific spacing to allow for large-sized bottles. Each bottle space is numbered for inventory purposes and to allow for quick retrieval of a specific vintage.

Materials Used: 

White Oak was used throughout the project and has long been the wood of choice for winemakers' barrels and is the perfect wood for the furniture-grade construction joinery in this cellar. The color was achieved by a unique fuming process that creates a warm, lasting non-toxic finish that will not off-gas and affect the quality of the wine.    

The bins in the lower cabinets are uniquely crafted from the staves of vintage wine barrels. Each barrel is carefully disassembled, cut to size, organized according to similar curvatures, lasered with the appropriate bin numbers, and then installed in a woven pattern into the cabinets.  The ceiling is also custom milled White Oak. The gap-spaced tongue and groove boards were meticulously grain matched with a Japanese scarf joint to create a seamless look across the eighteen-foot length of the room's ceiling.  

Equipment Used: 

This Wine Cellar project was designed using 3d modeling software called Sketchup and Enscape Rendering. This allowed the Clients to see and participate in the design process, via zoom, from the initial concept drawing through the final design phase.  

The creation of the wine racks was completed by a team of skilled craftspeople using both standard woodworking equipment as well as custom equipment with specialized jigs to facilitate the fabrication of the racking's many complex curves and angles.

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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.