Case Study: Wine Cellar Fit-Out Process

We recently had the challenge of a potential wine cellar fit-out (4 walls) with a light coloured pine and oak wine rack system.

About Wine Racks

Based in Derbyshire, the team at Wine Racks UK has over 40 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing bespoke wine storage solutions. During this time, the family-run business has gained a reputation for quality products at affordable prices. 

We help customers convert damp unusable cellars into beautiful climate-controlled state-of-the-art wine cellars-room that perfectly preserve wine or Champagne, and we help couples make the most of unused under-the-stairs spaces for wine storage. We’ve helped business owners from luxury hotels to beautiful countryside restaurants and Parisian wine bars. 


For more information about our bespoke wine racks or to discuss design, please call 01159441434 or contact us via our form.

Please include your requirements and approximate dimensions to provide you with a quote.

Aside from designing the layout, Wine Racks UK advises on everything from cooling systems to lighting options, the type of materials to use (solid oak, solid pine or wood and metal) and storage solutions for different sized bottles. Specialist storage options can be created for wooden Bordeaux boxes to large format bottles, half size bottles and Brandy or Rum. 

Wine cellar fit-out briefing details

The cellar was tanked, dry and cool – the temperature was constant with ventilation.

They wanted to source empty cases or boxes together with a wine barrel that could be used as a table to stand at. Also, they wanted to integrate an existing half (waist) height wine fridge in the layout.

The customer’s initial comments

“I quite like a design I saw on your web page for all of the racks – perhaps if you could integrate some nooks for magnums or prestige bottles too for display – depending on the configuration I am happy to ditch the display per the bottom row in the picture above or perhaps only have this on one or two of the racks.”

Wine Racks Customer

There are four walls as described within the client’s initial brief, with a floor-to-ceiling height of 177cm.

  • Wall 1 = 210cm width
  • Wall 2 = 216cm width
  • Wall 3 = 202cm width 
  • Wall 4 = 110cm width

Wall 4 was also an entrance to another room so the rack would need to be less than that so as to not be an obstruction and stick out.

We created a visual representation of the new wine cellar and provided a quotation as given below

  • 256 x holes of solid oak modular wine racking with chamfered ends for individual standard bottles.                                                                                                         
  • 17 x holes of solid pine modular wine racking for displaying individual standard bottles.
  • 8 x solid pine wine cubes holding  bottles in total (24 bottles in each cube).          
  • 1 x solid pine shelf unit with adjustable glass shelves and side vertical display.     
  • 2 x solid pine base units with adjustable wooden shelves.
  • 10 x solid pine case racks each 2 cases high and holding 2 cases in total on slide out trays.               
  • 20 x wooden case 
  • The lights require a 13amp 3 pin socket to plug the lights into.
  • Oak barrel with 800mm diameter glass top 9mm thick
  • height: 97cm. Approximate diameter at middle: 70cm.Diameter at End: 60cm 

This resulted in a ‘first-class’ service and a very happy customer

Final comments

Absolutely loving the cabinets and racks – excellent quality and great looking too. First class service from start to finish and first class product – keep up the great work! Now to fill them! And then empty them – then fill them etc…

Wine Racks Customer
Posted in Case Studies, Wine Cellar

Case Study: Pivoting during the pandemic

From Classic Parisian Bar to Chic Wine Shop

Business owners around the world have had to ‘pivot’ because of the pandemic. Whether that means changing direction, entering new markets, or changing an existing product range, it has been challenging for the business community. 

When the owner of Willi’s Wine Bar contacted A & W Moore Wine Racks UK (Wine Racks UK) to help them convert an existing bar space into a chic wine shop to help future proof the business, the team gladly accepted the unusual challenge.

About Wine Racks

Based in Derbyshire, the team at Wine Racks UK has over 40 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing bespoke wine storage solutions. During this time, the family-run business has gained a reputation for quality products at affordable prices. 

We help customers convert damp unusable cellars into beautiful climate-controlled state-of-the-art wine cellars-room that perfectly preserve wine or Champagne, and we help couples make the most of unused under-the-stairs spaces for wine storage. We’ve helped business owners from luxury hotels to beautiful countryside restaurants and Parisian wine bars. 

Aside from designing the layout, Wine Racks UK advises on everything from cooling systems to lighting options, the type of materials to use (solid oak, solid pine or wood and metal) and storage solutions for different sized bottles. Specialist storage options can be created for wooden Bordeaux boxes to large format bottles, half size bottles and Brandy or Rum. 

Challenges and Objectives

A key challenge being faced by Willi’s Wine Bar was the fact that they needed to reach customers during the health crisis and if such a crisis arises again. While bars, restaurants, and other leisure venues have been negatively affected by restrictions and lockdown measures, the wine market has proved to be resilient.

This provided an opportunity for the company to pivot. Instead of a casual Parisian bar, a chic wine shop was needed to add another revenue stream and increase the longevity of the business. The brief was clear: they required three fitted units behind the bar, one a smaller central unit with large weave wire mesh across the front to display Cognac, Armagnac, Rum, and other such beverages.

In addition, two side units, which were based on the standard units provided by Wine Racks UK, were needed. In the centre of the space, the company wanted something different. Four easily moveable units that could display Burgundy and Bordeaux bottles but could also be turned to face inward to create a large tasting table. 

How Wine Racks UK helped

The project put forward by Willi’s Wine Bar was unusual in that the owner had a very clear and detailed plan of what they wanted (in terms of the design and overall look) and what they needed (specific storage space and lighting). This expedited the process, so from the order being placed in March, the units were shipped to Paris in May and were ready to fit. 

Typically, the team will guide customers depending on what their needs are, what wines they are planning to store, and the area they will use (a cellar, under the stairs, a restaurant).  

Aside from providing advice and guidance, the team pride themselves on being flexible. During the project, the customer was happy with the final result but requested that the mesh on the door be changed to a different material to ensure all the bottles being displayed were visible. Wine Racks UK responded quickly and efficiently to provide a finer mesh.

Results

The result was a bespoke storage solution finished to a high quality that enabled Willi’s Wine Bar to transform the existing space into a future-proofed vision. It will help them generate additional revenue for years to come. 

Now when guests dine, they have the option to purchase a bottle of wine to take home with them, and customers passing by of an evening can stop to pick up a bottle for a summer picnic or special dinner.


A word from Willi

In the world we currently live in, it is one thing to know what you want but entirely another getting it. False starts & blind avenues are all part of the challenge. From March 2020 to today we have tried many new things out – if only to remain entertained. One of these was writing & illustrating a book – instead of having a 40-year party for the wine bar. Fun. As was discovering that people, particularly when confined, enjoy life more in the company of a good bottle of wine. We truly welcomed the opportunity to get to know a whole range of local residents who, until we opened the ‘Dépôt de Vin’, had never got around to visiting us. A lengthy thought process. 

Discovering who did the cooking was just one of the entertaining pastimes of being a wine merchant. Of course, all this fun was not going to waste and the difficulty was really were to welcome this addition to our establishment.

It was agreed that the bar in Macéo next door – a personal favourite spot – had to go with a heavy heart. Plans were laid, drawings were done & the rest would have been history but for the small matter of finding a carpenter for the project. This proved very frustrating until I discovered Wine Racks, a niche company catering exclusively to people who store wine. Did they, post-Brexit, still work in Europe? Yes. Could they meet our requirements? Yes. And fill the order on time? Almost.

The rest is history. I sent Adam the project, he returned the specs and the show hit the road. Honestly…? It could have been easier – but not much!

‘The result pleases me, but most importantly is much commented on, liked & admired by our clientele. I feel sure that this will not be the last job coming in Wine Rack’s direction from the EU.’

Mark Williamson, Founder of Willi’s wine bar

Posted in Case Studies, Wine Cellar

Transforming Your Basement Into A Wine Cellar

Drinking wine in the evening at home is not a new trend. But with the lockdown restrictions affecting dining and hospitality venues, and fine wine becoming an increasingly popular alternative investment, the need to adequately store wine at home has never been more important. 

But what do you need to know before committing to a wine cellar? Will it add value to your property? Can you store fine wines? Do you need a cooling system? In this article, we will aim to answer the most popular questions about converting a cellar including:

  1. Does a wine cellar increase the value of a home?
  2. Will I need planning permission to create a wine cellar?
  3. How much will it cost to convert my basement into a wine cellar?
  4. How can I build a wine cellar in my basement?
  5. Will my cellar need building work or damp proofing? 
  6. Should I get a bespoke wine rack or cellar made?
  7. Will I need a cooling system?

1. Does a wine cellar increase the value of a home?

In short, the answer is ‘yes.’ Transforming a basement into a wine cellar can add between 10 – 15% to the value of a property. In addition, a bespoke storage solution can help a property stand out and increase the likelihood of it being sold. 

What must be weighed is the extent of the work required to convert the space and the potential cost-to-increased-value ratio. Building costs, including damp proofing, the wine racks, and temperature control or lighting requirements, should be factored into the overall project costs.

This may not apply to all customers, as the need to store fine wines, Champagne, Brandy, and other collectable beverages may outweigh the cost of a conversion. 

Depending on the size of your cellar, you could create a tasting room or comfortable space to enjoy your wine and entertain guests, further adding value to the space. 

2. Will I need planning permission to create a wine cellar?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as the previous question. If there is an existing basement in a property that needs to be converted and the use is not going to drastically change (for instance, to a separate dwelling), the answer is generally ‘no.’

However, there are exceptions to this that must be considered. Planning permission will be required if a new basement needs to be installed by digging down, if the property is listed, in a conservation area, or if it is based within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

If extensive works have already been carried out at the property, permission may be required. It is always advised that the customer contacts the Local Authority directly to determine the rules and regulations.

The time to get planning permission (if necessary) should be factored into any project as it may delay the start date or extend the overall length to complete.

3. How much will it cost to convert my basement into a wine cellar?

Several factors must be considered when costing a basement conversion. This includes the current condition of the cellar, building work such as excavating the floor to create ceiling height, insulation, damp proofing, the size of the area, utilities that may need to be added, decorating, and a bespoke storage solution.

Dampproofing an existing cellar through the process of tanking, which is a structural approach, can cost anywhere from £1,200 to £3,000 per meter squared. It is essential to collect quotes for the works required before committing to an extensive project.

If your cellar is ready with minimal work, the cost to create your ideal wine storage system can range from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds. Products at the upper end of the scale typically include solid oak or pine racking, LED lighting, specialist cooling systems, and showcase storage options.

4. How can I build a wine cellar in my basement?

Foremost, although some articles may promote this as a DIY project, always seek professional advice if you will alter the structure of your property or need specialist services such as damp proofing.

The process to build a wine cellar begins with the design. While it may be fun to collect inspirational images on Pinterest, it can feel overwhelming to visualise a completely unused space. It is best to contact a manufacturer of bespoke solutions to get design ideas. 

They will advise on design options once they know what you intend to store and your overall vision. They may provide you with a quote based on the size of your space.

If you are unsure of the requirements, the manufacturer may recommend speaking to a local builder. Once the preparation phase (including damp proofing) has been completed, the next step is adding utilities, plastering the walls, and adding flooring. 

Then the space can be decorated ahead of the bespoke shelving and display cabinets being fitted. Wine Racks UK offers several storage options for different sized bottles and bottles in boxes that need to be protected.

5. Will my cellar need building work or damp proofing? 

This will depend on the condition of your cellar and your vision. If you simply want to add racking to the walls and the space has been damp proofed, it probably won’t need any work undertaking.

If you are completely transforming the space, concerned about damp issues, or want to excavate to add ceiling height, you will need to contact a local builder. The advantage of working with local tradespeople is that they may have experience of this work within the area and may know about the water table, the type of foundations used, and the drainage system.

6. Should I get a bespoke wine rack or cellar made?

If you can afford to, a bespoke wine rack or cellar storage system can add the ‘wow factor’ to your property. Aside from enhancing the basement, a custom-built solution can allow for the storage of an array of wine bottle shapes and sizes from Moët to Bollinger, Krug, Dom Perignon, and half bottles of Cognac.

Wines with wooden cases such as Bordeaux and Burgundy can also be stored in specialist display cabinets. Knowing the number of bottles that currently need to be stored or an estimation if you are planning on investing in fine wine will determine the number of holders required.

The advantage of working with a manufacturer on a bespoke design is the fact that it can be tailored to your needs, your goals, and the overall look you want to achieve.

7. Will I need a cooling system?

This is dependent upon the position of the wine cellar. If the cellar is underground and there is no heat source from other rooms a cooling system will not be needed as the ground temperature will keep the cellar constant. If there is heat from adjoining rooms or underfloor heating a cellar conditioner will be required.

A wine cellar must maintain a constant temperature if the bottles being stored there are to be preserved. Extreme temperature changes and dark, cold, wet environments can all negatively affect the wine. 

An air conditioning unit can provide the ideal solution to achieve a stable storage environment that supports fine wines, champagne, and other beverages.

The system required will depend on the size of the space, what is being stored, and the features of the cellar. The manufacturer of the bespoke wine racks will advise on the best solution based on your needs. Wine Racks UK offers 11 different options to suit all budgets and requirements.

It is important to remember no cellar conversion is the same. Sometimes the only thing stopping an individual is their imagination. If you are thinking about converting your basement into a wine cellar and want expert advice, please contact the team at Wine Racks UK to find out more. Alternatively, read about why a wine cellar is the best place to store your wine.

Posted in Wine Cellar

The Perfect Wine Cellar – Part 1

A cellar is an obvious option for those who really appreciate a quality glass of wine. Wine enthusiasts know having the right storage does make a different, especially if you are planning on storing your wine for long periods of time. I our view patience and timing add to the joy of wine ownership.

Things to Consider when planning your wine cellar

Here are some key considerations to think about before you start designing your new cellar.

Though, if you are unsure how to go about planning your cellar Wine Racks offer a full consultation, design and bespoke build service:

  • How will you use the wine cellar? Will it be a place where you can entertain friends or just a storage space for your favourite wines? Make sure you declutter the space and clean it thoroughly before you work on adding new elements to the structure.
  • Understand how to store and maintain your wine properly. Without the right storage conditions, wine can go bad which means your treasured bottle of vintage red wine could be wasted.
  • Look into adding specific components like the right insulation, a vapor or moisture barrier, and find ways to ensure that your wine cellar has an airtight seal.
  • Think about the materials you plan to use for your wine cellar. Glass may look nice, but it’s not a good insulator. If you have your heart set on a glass door, make sure it’s double glazed or that it features an argon-filled portion between two panes to keep the room insulated. Concrete is often used for basement walls, but it will need additional insulation if you plan to store wine there. Use plywood to cover existing walls or to build new walls since it can withstand moisture better than drywall.
  • Invest in a good, high-quality cooling unit to keep the temperature at an optimum level. While this may cost you a bit more upfront, it’s wise to invest in something high-quality to save you money in the long run. Basements tend to be extremely hot without the right cooling equipment in place.
  • Wine bottles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so don’t forget to install racks or shelving that are adjustable or that feature different designs to fit different bottles.
Posted in Wine Cellar