Conceived as a central amenity in a guest-house/maid's quarters addition at a charming and elegant 1930's "French Ranch" home in Bel Air, this wine cellar is accessed by sheltered exterior stair. A custom wrought-iron gate leads to the cellar and a powder room. Upon opening a massive walnut-plank insulated door, visitors find a cellar that is divided into two parts: an entry hall that takes the form of a compact "receiving" area for new incoming shipments (most in their original wooden cases), and the main space, intimately scaled to house 1,500 bottles in all formats, as well as accommodating dining at an antique refectory table.
The cellar was constructed in a new basement addition, featuring 12" thick reinforced concrete walls and ceiling, the mass of which prevents uplift in case of rising ground water from the adjacent stream. Finishes in the cellar include plaster-coated brick, reclaimed antique French terra cotta floor tiles, a vaulted plaster ceiling, and custom oiled walnut bottle racks, recessed into niches that are topped with hand-hewn brownstone lintels. All mechanical systems are concealed from view, and the cellar maintains perfect temperature and humidity.
In creating this cellar and the building that houses it, Subterfuge Cellars and Paul Davis Architects worked with expert local structural, civil, and mechanical engineers, Southern California's leading waterproofing consultants, and an elite local general contractor. The technical know-how, experience and talent of this team led to superb results, fully in keeping with the quality and style of the original home.