When a new "modern ranch" house in St. Helena, California (Napa Valley) needed a distinguished wine room, Subterfuge Cellars was retained to design the space and assist contractors in its realization. Our first task was to review preliminary basement layout plans prepared by the local project architects, and make recommendations for the configuration of the overall project area. We identified an opportunity to remove a range of planned solid partitions, and "open up" the wine room to viewing by visitors and the homeowner. The resulting project is tucked in to the corner of a larger space, and features two full-height glass walls with blackened steel structural members. A steel column that was intended to have been concealed within a wall was exposed in the room, and all wine display takes place in shelves cantilevered from the side and rear solid walls.
This project was particularly satisfying due to the range of old and new materials and fabrication techniques that contribute to its richness and texture. While the wall paneling and wine shelves are antique reclaimed planks from salvaged oak barn lumber, they were milled with multi-axis CNC machining-center equipment, to create "cradles" for the individual wine bottles, with slope tailored to avoid depriving the corks of covering moisture. Custom blackened-steel brackets suspend the shelf planks from the walls, and echo the material and finish of the central structural column. While the leather-like waxed concrete floor tiles have a timeless warmth (neither modern nor traditional - or perhaps they are both), the custom powder-coated aluminum composite ceiling panels are products of advanced technology. They recede into the shadowy heights of the space. Cool-running adjustable LED spotlights and HVAC supply registers are integrated into the ceiling, and fully dimmable LED strip lights are recessed into the thick lumber of the shelves.
This wine room holds a relatively small number of bottles, close at hand for day-to-day use (another wine facility elsewhere on the site is larger, but less immediately accessible). We appreciate the luxury of being able to dedicate an open, roomy area to celebration of a limited range of great wine, with labels exposed to viewing. Standard bottles up through 6-liter format can all be accommodated in the shelving system.