It’s the story of every early wine collector — those first bottles being stored haphazardly in closets. In San Francisco, wine storage is easy to do. With milder temperature, wine aficionados in the area can rationalize storing wines without a cooling unit or the correct insulation for a few months. But before they know it, their collection has sprung into the hundreds, making it very challenging to find proper wine storage placement. Such was the case with this home in Alamo, California in the Bay Area, where our team of experts was asked to convert a closet in a wine cellar. We built out the rackspace with the help of Iron Wine Cellars, which demonstrates just how much bottle capacity is possible in a small closet conversion.
Small Wine Storage Construction Project: A Coat Closet Converted into a Custom Wine Cellar
It’s common for wine collectors to begin with only a few bottles, and store them in any storage space in their home. For residents in the San Francisco Bay Area, having a more conducive climate for wine storage is an advantage. This is why many homeowners in this region keep their vintages in a regular kitchen cabinet – many times without any cooling equipment nor insulation installed.
But, as the number of bottles in a collection grows, a prudent collector must decide whether to create a bigger and more efficient storage space for the wines or risk the wine’s quality. A good example of a wise collector is this recent client we had in Alamo, California. This client hired our team of contractors because he needed a dependable storage structure for his continually expanding wine collection.
Many collectors choose to have their garage renovated into a wine storage facility, but this wine enthusiast in Alamo, CA did not want his cellar to be in his garage because of the heat in the location. He did not have any other location for the construction of the cellar, aside from a barely used coat closet. Right next to this closet was an area underneath a staircase. The client did not know how large the space under-the-stairs was, but if it was adequately large. He wanted the area to be made into wine storage also.
Designing the Small Wine Storage Room and Closet
As with any construction project, the planning phase is the most crucial. This is the period when deciding the design of the cellar and the materials to be used are established.
Our contractors had to go in and determine the actual size of the space under the staircase so that the client could decide to include it in the construction plan. Our builders found that the area was adequately large for installing double deep wine racks, and so the client gave his approval to include the space in the construction plan.
The coat closet was quite small, and the area beneath the stairs was irregularly shaped. The biggest challenge we had in this project was how to maximize the space efficiently. Together with the client, our team decided to convert the coat closet into a small walk-in cellar and turn the space under the stairs into a wine closet.
Our designers prepared CAD drawings of the planned wine storage facility. The proposed design featured a cellar that could accommodate up to 924 bottles. As soon as the client approved the plan, our contractors began preparing for the construction of the cellar.
A Small Walk-in Area with a Serving Table
The old closet door was replaced with a double paned glass cellar door. The use of glass doors is a great option for those who, like this Alamo client, want to achieve a beautiful contemporary style.
The coat closet was converted into a small cellar with a walk-in area and serving table. Above the serving table was a gorgeous arched top with a puck light installed. Thirteen and a half inch deep wine racks that could accommodate standard 750ml bottles were built above as well as around the arch. Below the table were shelves where the client could keep his wooden boxes for large-format bottles. On both the right and left sides of the shelves were double-deep racks for regular-sized bottles.
The entire small walk-in cellar section could accommodate 168 wine bottles.
No solid wall was built to separate this small walk-in cellar from the under-the-stairs cabinets. The purpose for leaving it open was so that cool air could freely travel through.
Glass doors were also installed to enclose the wine cabinets built under the stairs.
The racking system installed in these cabinets is double deep, which drastically increased the storage capacity of the cellar. In each rack, the client could put a wine bottle, push it in, and add another bottle in front of it.
A total of 756 bottles could be accommodated in the rackspace.
A Wall-Mounted Cooling Unit
Above the rackspace and just below the stairs, there was an extra space that allowed us to install the wall-mounted cooling system. The equipment was a CellarPro 4200, which vented out warm air into the client’s garage.
The chosen refrigeration system, installed by an HVAC technician, adequately cooled both the small walk-in custom wine cellar and the rackspace.
Small Area and Limited Space? No Problem! – Hire a Wine Storage Expert!
Our clients are always pleasantly surprised by how many bottles they can fit in the wine cellars we build in their small rooms or closets. Here at Custom Wine Cellars San Francisco, we value our clients by finding ways to meet their storage needs. With the wine cellar designs we create and the racking systems we install, we can maximize the spaces in the tiniest areas.
Have an extra room or closet you want to be converted into a wine storage facility? We can help you build your dream cellar! Call us today at +1 (415) 800-3788!