2024 Wellness Guide

A below-ground wine cellar with wooden shelves stocked with bottles of wine. There is a spiral staircase with wrought iron railings that leads down into the wine cellar. Caption: Below-ground Spiral Cellar in London

Stellar Wine Cellars Around the World

by Jorge S. Arango

A modern kitchen with dark sleek cabinets and appliances. A circular, glass-walled wine cellar built into the floor with a spiral staircase.
Kitchen Architecture

Below-ground spiral wine cellar in London

Architecture: Simon Astridge, saaworkshop.com
Interior design: Kitchen Architecture, kitchenarchitecture.co.uk
Square Feet: 372 (entire kitchen)
Bottle Capacity: 1,500
Highlights: Below-ground Spiral Cellar accessed via a trap door with descending staircase, shuttering surrounding a waterproof triple liner and concrete modular shell, natural cooling system

Space commands a premium in the city. This showroom kitchen at Kitchen Architecture in Putney’s Lower Richmond Road, located in a converted supermarket basement, provides a template for maximizing wine storage in tight quarters. “We deliberately wanted the space to be dark, a moody bar vibe,” says the showroom’s Merchandising Director Paul Brivati, who synced with the urban environment by deploying polished concrete floors, black concrete wall panels, and a sleek black Bulthaup kitchen. Of the cellar itself, he says, “You do need to dig a very big hole to accommodate the cellar”—about 8.5 feet—“and if you are close to a neighbor, there is party wall permission to be considered.” Besides conserving space, the beauty of the system, Brivati says, is that “there is no mechanical ventilation with Spiral Cellars (spiralcellars.co.uk). The temperature is controlled by the ground and one cold-air pipe in and a warm-air pipe out.”

A well-stocked, elegant wine cellar with brass-trimmed sliding glass doors, custom brass wine shelving, designer Art Deco style chairs and chandeliers.
Greg Natale

Art Deco wine cellar near Melbourne, Australia

Architecture and Interior Design: Greg Natale, gregnatale.com

Square Feet: 110

Bottle Capacity: 607

Highlights: An adjacent bar and lounge; elegant, brass-trimmed sliding glass doors; custom brass wine shelving

When Greg Natale was refurbishing this home for clients, he says, “They wanted a cellar that really emphasized and focused on theater, much like the surrounding interiors and property. The home is incredibly moody, using a palette of dark timbers, brass, leathers, and richly bright colors.” Natale, who pulled overarching design cues from that quintessentially elegant Art Deco style, says, “It is definitely maximalist, while still keeping clean lines, which is really what this home is about.” The principal cellar is off a corridor that leads to the bar and lounge, all of it trading on the high-glass swank of extravagantly deployed polished brass. A wine-wrapped lounge accommodates additional bottles in ebony-stained wooden storage bins. Natale ramped up the glamour with a Kelly Wearstler chandelier, a Covet House brass table, and a pair of classic, mid-century, brass-finished Harry Bertoia chairs with black leather seats and backs.

A chic wine cellar with rustic aesthetic. This wine cellar has a double-height interior with locally sourced birch wall cabinetry in addition to Italian furniture and a tempered glass fireplace.

Chic, rustic wine cellar in Colorado

Architecture: PUNCH, puncharc.com

Interior and Cellar Design: CellArt, cellart.com

Square Feet: 1,500

Bottle Capacity: 1,692

Highlights: $300,000 thermal glass doors installation, $100,000 LED lighting display, particularly strong in US cabernet sauvignons, such as Sine Qua Non and Screaming Eagle

“The client is a wine producer himself and asked us for a chic, rustic aesthetic,” says Jonathan Primeau, founder and president of Canadian-based CellArt, known for projects conceived from the eye of a conceptual artist. Working from architectural plans drawn up by PUNCH in Las Vegas, CellArt’s head of creation Dominique Légaré conjured a clean, modern alpine vibe, swathing the double-height interior with locally sourced birch that was sealed with natural oils. (“The client wanted no chemicals used,” says Primeau.) Légaré juxtaposed the timber envelope with custom imported Italian furniture, a glamorous crystal chandelier, a spiral staircase leading to a mezzanine lounge, and a tempered glass fireplace that seems to float in the middle of the room. “We could have maximized the space even more, but quantity was not the point,” says Primeau, noting a trend in private cellars: “The more expensive the project, the fewer bottles, which allows us to be more artistic.”

A fully stocked wine library with walnut casework and walls furnished and decorated with charcoal-colored armchairs, modern coffee table, limestone fireplace and an Italian abstract painting displayed on the mantle.

Fully-stocked wine library in Long Island, New York

Architecture and Interior Design: Smiros & Smiros Architects, smiros.com

Square Feet: 300

Bottle Capacity: 1,000

Highlights: WhisperKOOL Phantom 8000 FD temperature and humidity control, built-in humidor with a Cigar Oasis Plus 3.0 system for 1,000 cigars

Jim Smiros has worked with these clients on at least 10 projects over the last 20 years, including residences in London, Moscow, and Miami Beach. This primary home, a late-1800s, Queen Anne–style building on a larger estate, has undergone several updates and renovations, including this conversion of a little-used dining room into a handsome wine library. “They wanted a sort of smoky mood,” says Smiros, reflecting on the palette his firm chose for the space, which is finished with a charcoal gray silk rug, gray suede armchairs with walnut bases, and a ceiling the color of platinum. The cozy yet sleek room is enveloped by refrigerated wine storage and a built-in humidor—behind a walnut door at left—all gleaming with polished nickel trims set within walnut casework. The Chesneys limestone fireplace has a custom herringbone brick firebox and, above it, a painting by Italian artist Valerio Adami.

A spacious and modern, raw white oak kitchen with concrete walls sculpted to look like natural limestone, beamed ceilings, a long wooden cedar table, and a wine cellar stocked with bottles of wine at the back of the kitchen.
Clayton Korte

Spacious and modern wine cellar in Hill Country, Texas

Architecture and Interior Design: Clayton Korte, claytonkorte.com

Square Feet: 1,405

Bottle Capacity: 4,000

Highlights: Two separately cooled zones (lounge about 70 degrees; cellar about 55 degrees), custom pendant lighting, board-formed concrete bulkhead entrance, custom suspended bath vanity with a sandblasted stainless-steel sink, wine collection highlighting California and Italy

On a secluded river bend at a 3,000-acre ranch, encounter a devoted oenophile’s private Aladdin’s cave of wine. Fermented beverages have been stored in caves for centuries, and when Brian Korte came onto the job, the client had already begun excavation. “We’re inherently taking advantage of the subterranean context,” Korte says. But, because heat can filter in and humid conditions underground are not optimal, Korte enhanced a cave insert of sprayed-on concrete sculpted by hand to look like natural limestone, then built an easily disassembled (if needed) interior envelope of ebonized raw white oak and Douglas fir paneling, storage, and a bar—the latter with a salvaged, live-edge, cedar slab top milled locally. This, a small seating area, and a bath occupy the front end of the 70-foot-long tunnel; tucked in the back find the owner’s own heirloom Mission table and chairs.

A custom wine cellar with glass doors and a Ferrari motorcycle parked inside the case as well as a red grand piano outside in the showroom.
Genuwine Cellars

Completely custom wine cellar in Hamilton, Canada

Architecture: Basal Master Builds, basalmasterbuilds.com

Interior and Cellar Design: Genuwine Cellars, genuwinecellars.com

Square Feet: 165 (both cellars together) Bottle Capacity: 462 (both cellars)

Highlights: 35-foot bar between cellars, lounge area, custom engineered climate control system (kept at 58 degrees), thermal glass doors and shelving, humidor cigar lounge

“From the outside it looks like a commercial industrial building,” says Shaila Queau, senior design director at Miami-based Genuwine Cellars. In fact, “it” is an airplane hangar next to her client’s home. “He has a huge car collection and wanted a space to showcase his top 100 cars. And he wanted the upper level to look like a nightclub.” To wit: architectural wall mimicking the starry night interior ceiling panels of a Rolls-Royce, seating fashioned from bisected Lamborghinis, a custom poker table, and a stripper pole. Flanking a bespoke, 35-foot-long bar made of precious stone and high-gloss, black-and-white cabinetry are two 82-square-foot wine cellars. Elsewhere there is a humidor room with storage for over 2,000 cigars that is punctuated by columns generating nonstop bubbles. To complete the passion project: a red lacquer piano and three scarlet Ferrari motorcycles.

A dimly lit residential wine cellar with acrylic displays illuminated by controlled colored lights. The wine cellar has a shining chandelier, backlit onyx table and black lacquer frames which accentuate the glass-walled, cube-like architecture.
Focus Wine Cellars

Jewelry box wine vault in Miami

Interior Design: Focus Wine Cellars, focuswinecellars.com
Square Feet: 120
Bottle Capacity: 430
Highlights: Acrylic display storage for easy label identification, adjustable colored lighting, chandelier designed to highlight the collection’s four most valuable bottles (all French grand crus), backlit onyx countertop

Wine at this residence is a multidimensional journey, explains Osman Gurer, founder of Toronto-based Focus Wine Cellars. “When hosting dinner parties, the homeowners often lead their guests from the dining room to the cellar,” he explains. “Here, they personally select a bottle for the meal. After dinner, the experience can extend to enjoying additional wine selections at the bar or during a movie in the adjacent home theater.” Gurer was asked to create a cellar “that resembles a jewelry box” and responded with this glass cube illuminated by changing colored lights. “The design of the wine cellar mirrors the palette and style employed throughout the rest of the house: white marble floors, black lacquer frames, and brass door handles. All are cohesive with the overall design of the residence.”

A sophisticated and contemporary wine cellar with warm wood and concrete accents display a collection of wines against the wall. A large wooden table, floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking a courtyard, and slatted wood ceiling provide a luxurious, yet natural aesthetic.
Heather Wells

Cool speak-easy with a wine cellar in St. Louis

Architecture: Peter Rose + Partners, roseandpartners.com

Interior Design: Heather Wells Inc., heatherwells.com

Square Feet: 290

Bottle Capacity: 1,800 Highlights: An adjacent bar and interior courtyard, custom wine racks with stainless steel fins, one wall of French wines (including a few rare Domaine Romanée Contis), another of Californians and Champagne, a third stocked mostly with Italians and a few Spanish Riojas

The owners of this cellar in the tony St. Louis suburb of Ladue have highly sophisticated tastes and an important art collection. Their contemporary, poured-concrete manse peddles an understated, but unquestionably luxurious aesthetic. They asked designer Heather Wells to create “a cool speakeasy space with a wine cellar right off a bar and theater,” she says. Wells installed tumbled nero marquina marble floors, bronze-framed glass doors overlooking a courtyard, and air-conditioning that enters through a slatted, stained-wood ceiling. Of course, furnishings go toe to toe with the quality of the art: a BDDW bronze-based, maple-topped tasting table surrounded by Merwyn chairs by Sebastian Herkner, and an Hervé van der Straeten lacquered Twist console in shades of oenophile-appropriate merlot, red, and aubergine. “The cellar is not for aging,” says the husband, “but for drinking wines. So mostly they are ready.” A votre santé!