Category Archives: California custom wine cellars

Impressive Wine Cellar Design for a Small Space in a California Home

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In 2007, many people lost their homes because of the wildfires in San Diego, California. A couple, who were victims of this tragedy, approached Vintage Cellars to help them build a wine cellar that would store their new collection. They needed to bump out a wall in the kitchen to add space to the tiny room on the second floor. Find out the turnkey solution for this project. 

An Expert Helped a Couple Rebuild their Wine Collection

Gilliand Wine Cellar California Project Featured in Wine Spectator

Gilliand Wine Cellar California Project Featured in Wine Spectator

Vintage Cellars, one of the trusted builders of home wine cellars in California, has been in the industry since 1990.

They design and install custom wine rooms that fit their client’s budget and space. Since every customer’s needs are unique, they always use their creativity, passion, and expertise to design and build the perfect wine storage facility for each collection.

In this room conversion project, they had to work with the architect of the couple’s house. The design team encountered some challenges, including the limited space and the visible support beam on the left wall of the room.

The clients also had their own requests for the racking design and material.

They wanted their wine cellar to be installed on a limited area on the second floor of their home and to create a classic appeal using wooden wine racks. Despite these challenges, Vintage Wine Cellars were able to come up with an excellent design for a small wine storage room.

Overcoming the Challenges in Wine Cellar Construction

Rancho Bernardo San Diego California Wine Cellar Framing in Progress

Rancho Bernardo San Diego California Wine Cellar Framing in Progress

Lack of space is a common problem faced by wine room builders, including Vintage Cellars. This issue did not stop them from completing the installation of the couple’s wine cellar.

The design team of Vintage Cellars reviewed the construction plans and found a solution that could add space to room. They bumped a wall out of the kitchen to create additional space (80 square feet more) for the wine room. The room was 11.5 feet wide, 4.5 feet deep and 8.5 feet high. They also maximized the space by combining various racking styles. The wine cellar can accommodate 750 bottles in total, with enough space to move around in.

Vintage Cellars decided to conceal the support beam that goes up to the roof. They covered the beam with a piece of Redwood Fascia (the same wood used in the wine racks), to achieve a clean look and complement the whole racking.

Sealing and Cooling the Custom Wine Room

California Home Wine Cellar Cooling Unit Hidden in a Wooden Grill

California Home Wine Cellar Cooling Unit Hidden in a Wooden Grill

After framing the room, Vintage Cellars installed the room insulation and vapor barrier, which are essential components in achieving the right environment in California home wine cellars. Without the proper insulation and a vapor barrier, there will be temperature fluctuations.

Temperature must be maintained between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Too much heat can cause the cork to shrink. When this happens, an unwanted amount of oxygen can pass through it and mix with the wine. The chemical properties of the wine will be altered, resulting in spoiled wine.

Humidity levels must be within 60-70 percent. Humidity higher than the normal range can trigger mold growth, which can damage the cork and the wine.

Another advantage of sealing the wine room is that the owner can save energy and prevent breakdowns of the cooling unit. In this project, the flooring had to be insulated too because the room is located on the second level of the house.

The wine cooling system also plays a vital role in the aging process of wine. Every wine cellar needs the right size, type, and capacity of refrigeration unit. Vintage Cellars used a 3600 BTU Rack Mounted Coil by LRC for this small wine cellar. The unit was concealed in a wooden grill on the right wall.

Check out other wine cooling systems recommended by an expert for residential wine cellars.

Wine Rack Features for a Home Wine Cellar in California

Residential Wine Cellar Design California Master Builders

Residential Wine Cellar Design California Master Builders

At Vintage Cellars, one of their goals is to create an elegant wine display, regardless of the room’s size and shape. When designing wine racks, they always take into account all of the functional and aesthetic requirements of the owner. They allow customization options to achieve a unique racking system.

The clients can incorporate their own design to add a personal touch to the wine room. The racking material can be the owner’s choice or a recommendation from the builder. In this case, the wine racks were constructed from Redwood, as requested by the client.

Redwood is highly resistant to rot, shrinking, mildew, and warping. It has the ability to withstand the humid conditions that can develop in California wine cellars.

Functional and Stylish Racking System

The left wall is where the support beam is. Both sides of the beam consist of individual bottle storage racks. Vintage Cellars added a 3-level display area for the client’s whiskey and scotch bottles. The lowest shelf is a cigar humidor. Above this display area is an LED light, which highlights the client’s favorite bottle of wines.

The back wall consists of various styles of wine racks including the horizontal display rack at the center of the racking. This area is intended for storing 3-5 liter magnum bottles. Other large format bottles can also be placed in the display rack because the shelves are adjustable. Below this display rack are both the standard and half-case storage racks. There are diamond bins on the left and right sides of the back wall. The top section has wine storage slots for individual bottles.

Racking Design Home Wine Cellar  San Diego California

Racking Design for Magnum Bottles Home Wine Cellar San Diego California

Vintage Cellars added an eye-catching rounded tabletop above the case storage. It provides an area for decanting and serving wine. A few bottles and accessories can also be displayed on the tabletop.

The top of the right wall is where the cooling unit was installed . The rest of the racking has openings for single bottle storage. A high reveal display row was added in the middle section.

You can Have a Stylish Wine Room in a Small Space. Contact a Specialist.

You can transform any room into a California home wine cellar. Request a FREE wine cellar design, or contact Vintage Cellars today at +1-800-876-8789


Los Angeles Wine Cellar: Converting a Niche

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Los Angeles Residential Wine Cellars – The Niche Transformation
When someone said, “Los Angeles is the city of dreams,” they were probably referring to Culver City! This is the city where respected entertainment conglomerates were born and bred, and it was also gaining reputation recently as a viable hub for the higher arts. So, it should only follow that many of its residents were also sophisticated people. Indeed, the proof we have of this is the Los Angeles wine cellar project that the Whole Cellar designing team had just completed.

So, what do you need to know about this certain project, then? Well, for one, the clients who contracted us for this job, Rob and Erin, meant to carve a wine cellar area from a niche that was located between their dining room and kitchen. The challenge there, as with most of the projects the Whole Cellar team had dealt with in the past, was the question of how they could utilize the limited space in the niche to create a wine cellar space that was truly functional.

Sure, the project was difficult, but it could be done. Below is how the team pulled it off.

A Matter of Spacing

Culver City living room

This is the Culver City living room for the wine cellar project.

Since the area that the Whole Cellar team would be working on has been a “common area” of sorts in the household for some time (as evidenced by the picture here), the first step was to perform an extensive demo of the existing wall coverings. That means they had to strip off the wall coverings, reroute electrical outlets and switches in the area to make sure that nothing ever gets “covered” by accident. This was code and observed strictly, since the walls of the area would have also needed preparation for refrigeration.

With the clients having a pretty extensive 632 wine bottle collection, the team made sure that the wine rack they would create for this purpose should be deep enough to hold that massive wine set. So, they set out on making a rack with an enclosure that measured 7’ wide and 2’ deep. In effect, this allowed wine bottles of all sizes–including champagne and pinot–to be slotted snugly into their respective openings that measured 3 ¾” by 3 ¾” .

Of course, since one of the purposes of a wine cellar is to display an owner’s prized wine bottle collection, the team included horizontal display rows that were meant to evoke a “label forward” philosophy. The lower half of the rack was meant for storing double deep square bins, so the design also accounted for bulk storage of the client’s other wine bottles.

Many hours of collaboration between the Whole Cellar team and the client eventually led to the creation of a blueprint for the wine rack that the clients found satisfactory. But as any wine enthusiast would know, that is only half of the design process. Up next: cooling.

Refrigeration is the Key

It might be easy to crack open a wine bottle straight from an ordinary pantry shelf, hoping the decant might help the flavor. However, one could only enjoy the full taste of it when said wine is stored in a highly temperature-regulated area. Passionate wine geeks would know that and, of course, so did our clients.

The problem the Whole Cellar team had to solve for this aspect was to suggest a cooling unit that is not just reliable, but also portable and easy to install since the space it would be occupying is only minimal in the first place.

Los Angeles CellarPro Wine Refrigeration

This is the CellarPro unit used for the Los Angeles wine refrigeration system.

They eventually decided on using the CellarPro 1800, a self-contained cooling unit that could be installed in any area of the room. For this project, the system was mounted thru the wall with its back facing the pantry and its exhaust going through a designated hole in the cellar created for this purpose.  Fresh air was pulled in from the pantry and the hot air exhausted to the crawl space above the cellar.

The Finished Project

The residential Los Angeles wine cellar project in Culver City was officially completed in August 2015, three months after the clients contracted Whole Cellar for the job. If anything, this only proved that any area in the household can be made to serve another purpose, and we are not just talking in reference to wine spaces.

If you believe we could help you in any way, then do visit our official Houzz page so you could check out our past projects. We also offer free 3D design consultation for anyone interested in our expertise, and you could start by calling us at +1 (949) 355-4376.

Culver City Los Angeles Wine Cellar Project

This is the finished Los Angeles wine cellar project in Culver City.


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Custom Wine Cellar Project in Ramona, California (a processed video transcription)

Sophisticated Home Wine Cellar Design by Vintage Cellars

double deep wine rack on the left side as you enter the cellar

Double Deep Wine rack on the Left Side as you Enter the Cellar

Today, we’re looking at a residential wine room located in Ramona, California designed by Vintage Cellars. When the customer contacted us, he was looking how to convert a room in his home to build out his dream wine room.

Looking at the design, we added many features, which allows for maximum storage and cleaning up display racking.

When doing a wine cellar with Vintage Cellars, we send you a CAD drawing, which allows you to see all the different features and layout of the room. The room is approximately 10x14x8 and holds around 3,300 bottles.

Custom Wine Rack Features

Walking into the room, we have a bridge located above the door, which holds magnum bottles. We also have here double deep racks with double high reveal display. On the back wall, we have double sided waterfall leading down to a horizontal display wine rack, which holds magnums and a tabletop above.

Behind that, we have case storage which is utilizing some of the dead space behind the waterfall. Also, in the design, we added a double high glass rack. Here, we also have horizontal display storage, which holds magnums and a high reveal display.

Here’s a side view of the waterfall which comes down into a case storage which is located below the tabletop, and the end cap which is a horizontal display for magnum storage.

Photos During the Construction Stage


California wine cellar insulation using spray foam

California Wine Cellar Insulation Using Spray Foam

Let’s take a look at a couple of photos of the progress in the California wine room. Here is the empty wine room here, and we had a glass window on the back wall, which we ended up removing and insulating.

Here are the can lights. These are insulated can lights, which you definitely want to use in a wine room.

Here, we’re doing spray foam insulation, which acts as a vapor barrier well, so you don’t have to wrap the room in a 6 ml plastic.  Here’s the stain on the floor.

Wine Refrigeration System

California home wine cellar cooling unit

California Home Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

Up here, I don’t know if you could see this, but here is the air handler, which we used the Wine Guardian 1 ton split ducted system.

The way the ducted systems work, is while the split ducted systems you have a compressor located outside with two lines running that’s running to the air handler, which is located either in the attic or in another room.

In this case, the customer put it inside the wine room, located in a soffit, which at the end, we ended covering up.

Here’s a photo of the supply for the wine cooling system, and the return on the adjacent side of the room. Here is a photo of the Wine Guardian thermostat located on the wall, and the compressor located outside, which has an exterior housing to protect it from the weather, rain, snow.

The Completed Residential Custom Wine Cellar in Ramona, California

California Wine Rack Design for a Home Cellar

California Wine Rack Design for a Home Cellar

Completed California Home Wine Cellar by Vintage Cellars

Completed California Home Wine Cellar by Vintage Cellars

Here is a picture of the door that was used, which was Alder Wood. And here is the finished project.

Knotty Alder Wine Cellar Door Installed by a California Master Builder

Knotty Alder Wine Cellar Door Installed by a California Master Builder

Hire a Professional on Your Next Wine Cellar Conversion Project.

If you would like Vintage Cellar to design and install a stunning and fully customized wine cellar in your California home, call us at 800-877-68789, or if you would just like to see more examples of our work, visit us at