From kitchens to cellars and integrated living spaces, wine storage has evolved from the traditional wine cellar
There will always be a place for the traditional wine cellar, hidden away from view and complete with dusty bottles and cobwebs. But wine storage today is as much about display as it is practical storage and ageing.
This trend can be seen not only in private homes but also in hotels and restaurants, with wine being integrated into interior design projects. Wine walls and wine rooms, with temperature and humidity control allow for a prized wine collection to be admired whilst keeping the bottles in optimum condition for ageing purposes.
More discreet but also an attractive feature in any home is the spiral cellar. Represented in Portugal by Porto based company Cave do Vinho — cavedovinho.pt — these pre-fabricated cylindrical structures are fitted into the floor at depths of up to three metres and can hold between 1,000 and 3,000 bottles. Being underground, this solution has the advantage of naturally maintaining suitable temperature and humidity. Many of these units have already been fitted in Portugal, including at least one here in the Algarve. Cave do Vinho also specialize is creating bespoke solutions for wine rooms, working closely with architects and interior designers.
Taking a totally different approach with his own unique creative flair is Algarve-based lighting designer Beau McLellan whose company Bybeau carries out design installations as far away as Shanghai and Dubai. “We saw a niche in the market for a product that combined our artistic approach with technology that would be practical for wine enthusiasts,” said Beau. The Vine was developed comprising a digital wine rack that suspends bottles in crystal cradles that carry power and data to every shelf. Each shelf provides a specific IP address, enabling specific illumination of regions, varieties or even tones — however their owner might desire. A tablet or smartphone can then wirelessly provide interactive content via a low-resolution screen.
Wine storage has also become de rigueur in the kitchen. Diana Távora, of Algarvebased Bulthaup agents Citrina, has witnessed a huge growth in demand over recent years. “Today it would be very unusual to design a kitchen without dedicated wine storage,” said Diana. At the top of the market, Citrina works with brands such as Gagganau and Sub-Zero and others such as Irinox, whose freestanding Vineteca unit is very popular. Other brands include Liebherr, but even mainstream kitchen brands such as Siemens and Bosch have all introduced dedicated wine storage units over recent years.
Citrina has also branched out into wine rooms, with recent projects including an underground wine room and bar, accessed via a stairway from the kitchen of a new villa in Quinta do Lago. Here, walnut cabinets by Bulthaup have been combined with Gaggenau temperature and humidity control units.
From kitchens to living spaces, the trend of integrating wine into the home is clearly here to stay. One of the main drivers is the shift towards more home-entertaining, with homeowners wishing to offer guests a good selection of wine and showcase it.