This wine cellar project was part of a larger remodel. The homeowner has a passion for wine and has been a wine enthusiast since the late 70’s when he and his wife visited Napa Valley, California. Fran Kirley shares, “I have always loved wine and now with my own wine cellar I have the ability to collect and enjoy many of The Great wine that I have tasted and have now added to my collection. “
Wine is a natural, perishable food product and wine cellars protect wine from potentially harmful external influences and provide darkness and a constant temperature. In this controlled environment wines can not only maintain their quality, but may improve in aroma, flavor and complexity as they age.
A few facts about wine storage:
An active wine cellar maintains proper temperature and humidity by climate control systems. A passive wine cellar is built under ground to reduce temperature swings and is not climate controlled. If you have above ground storage for wine the term commonly used is wine room and is climate controlled. Lastly, a smaller version for wine storage could be considered a wine closet, which usually holds 500 bottles or less.
About the Project
“This 200 square foot wine cellar has been highly insulated with closed cell spray foam and built with special moisture resistant drywall called green board, as well as, low VOC mildew and mold resistant paint to prohibit what can occur in a dark and moist environment”, says Michael Owings, President of Owings Brothers Contracting (www.owingsbrothers.com) an established general contractor in Maryland. The Kirley wine cellar, was built in the basement by remodeling an existing storage area. The wine shelving and climate control system was manufactured by Vigilant, www.VigilantInc.com a New Hampshire wood working company, which manufactures all of their wood products here in the US. The shelving has a mahogany finish and includes LED accent lighting, curved corner racks, magnum cubbies and vertical displays and has the capacity for 1900 bottles of wine. The high table in the center of the wine cellar is called the tasting table and affords the wine connoisseur the opportunity to uncork and sip from their extensive collection.
“Designing a wine room of this scale is always an exciting challenge”, says Karen Pitsley, AIA, architect at Transforming Architecture (www.TransformingArchitecture.com). “We worked closely with the Kirleys and the racking company to design a distinct and beautiful focal point of the tasting area while ensuring we could store the large number of bottles required. Owings Brothers executed the plan seamlessly and the result is amazing.”
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”
Uncork a bottle and enjoy in your own custom wine cellar. Cheers!
Wine is bottled poetry. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
The Philosophy of Wine
An Anonymous Homage To Wine
“A Philosophy Professor stood before his class with some items in front of him. When the class began, without a word, he picked up a very large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, each about 2- inches in diameter. He then asked the class if the jar was full. They all agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the class again if the jar was full. They all agreed it was.
The professor picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled in between the pebbles. He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous…yes.
The professor then produced a bottle of red wine from under the table and proceeded to pour the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
‘Now,’ said the professor, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks being the important things – your family, your health, and your children – things that if everything else were lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
‘The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else…the small stuff.
‘If you put the sand into the jar first there would be no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.
The professor smiled, ‘I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a good bottle of wine.”