In the U.S., says Donald, "It's becoming more common to have a
couple glasses of wine with family or friends than to drink a case of
Koder's consulting firm, founded in 2004, caters to a lifestyle in
which money is not an issue but quality is. Many of his clients own
second or third homes and say that a quality wine cellar is the one
Better With Age
Imagine walking your date into a cellar made entirely of limestone
and hand-forged wrought iron wine racks to look up through the windows
of the vaulted ceiling into the water fountain above it. It can be done
-- for $800,000.
More important than impressing dates and having a sumptuous
array of spirits at your fingertips, a properly constructed wine cellar
can add value to a home. "Realtors think homeowners are interested in
prestige, when they are more interested in a return on their investment," says Koder, most of whose clients work in the financial sector.
Each time Wine Trend finishes a cellar project, it provides a
folder to the homeowner stating how much value the room adds to the
home and an estimated appreciation.
Four years ago, says Koder, a quality wine cellar was possible
for around $19,000. Today, the same cellar can't be done for less than
According to the study, demand is likely to continue to grow,
as only 15% of those polled now own a wine cellar but 59% said they
were interested in purchasing one in the future.
And with the housing market cooling down, says Koder, wine
amenities help homes fetch a better price and even make properties more
attractive to buyers.
Besides adding property value, 83% of survey respondents gave wine entertaining as the top reason to install a wine cellar.
The Price of Preservation
According to the survey, 58% of respondents prefer to consult a
specialist when considering the installation of wine amenities -- and
for good reason.
Donald is surprised at how many architects and designers build
cellars that look stunning but have serious defects when it comes to
actually preserving and storing wine. Despite all the bells and
whistles, says Koder, you won't be happy with the return unless the
room does its job: preserve your collection in an efficient manner.
Generally, wine cellars must be kept at around 55 degrees
Fahrenheit and at 70% relative humidity. Koder even gathers information
from clients about their current and probably future tastes in wine in
order to select the proper storage equipment and capacity.
People forget that at any given time, 90% of your inventory
should be in the process of aging, Koger points out. To have a workable
collection with a quality representation of different types of wine,
Donald says around 2,000 bottles should do the trick, but he's seen
cellars store up to 35,000.
Wine Trends also offers custom high-tech inventory-management
solutions to catalog and keep track of your wines. Its cellars range
from $30,000 to $250,000; on average, its clients spend around $50,000.
Tuscan Wine Cellars construct old-world wine cellars designed
to have the look and feel of a century-old room, characterized by
brick, stone, wrought iron and vaulted ceilings. It uses reclaimed
antique brick and timber imported form Europe, along with European
artisans who often hail from a second or third generation of craftsmen.
Its cellars range from $50,000 to $200,000.
In contrast, some-high quality cellars are made entirely of
metal. What really adds value, says Koder, are extras, such as a
separate dining area with a warmer temperature.
The Grapevine Spreads
High rises, hotels and resorts are also seeing the need for wine amenities to attract residents.
The Ritz-Carlton is opening a Dallas location on Aug. 15,
2007, which will include a wine cellar in Fearing's, the hotel's
restaurant. "Many people who will use the restaurant will be local to
Dallas and really wine savvy," says Bonnie Crail, director of PR of
Ritz-Carlton. "Selecting a wine is as exciting for our diners as
selecting a menu item."
All 511 acres of Vineyard Estates
in Charlottesville, Va., are devoted to the wine lifestyle. Residents
have their own plots of land to make and grow wine right alongside the
Kluge Estate Winery.
Tuscan Wine Cellars has completed projects for luxury
town-house complexes in which each resident has a separate cubby in the
community cellar. "You just started hearing more about this sort of
thing in the last three years," says Donald, who notes that cellars are
also in high demand in resort areas such as Aspen and Park City, Utah.
The wine-storage trend has even spread into such industries as food, says Norrgard. Fresh Direct
, for example, provides cold storage for its customers' selections in the lobbies of luxury condos.
So realtors and home owners, pay attention. Your demographic is
reaching for a sauvignon blanc instead of a brewski. Make sure to arm
your property accordingly.