Los Angeles TimesBonnie McCarthy
Aug. 16, 2017
There’s a new kind of trophy case in town – and the best part is, it’s full of wine.
Advancements in wine storage and trends in contemporary architecture have put wine collections front and center in high-end luxury homes in ways once reserved for fine art and rare books.
The glass-enclosed rooms and cases can hold hundreds and sometimes thousands of bottles, chicly displayed in customized temperature- and humidity-controlled environments behind protective UV-resistant glass.
“It’s not so much about being a showoff,” said Jamie Kasza, founder and president of Stact, a modular wine storage company, in Vancouver, Canada. “I think when you’re passionate about [what] you’re collecting … people don’t want to bury it in the cellar.”
Kasza said one residential project included a 4,200-bottle wine storage tower designed with two parking spaces on top to showcase the homeowner’s exotic sports cars. Kind of like the Bat Cave, but with wine.
Whether towering over a vaulted loft space or built into an entire wall, the new direction in personal wine storage represents an industry disruption in the centuries-old tradition of cellars.
It’s a look and a philosophy, however, that is catching on fast.
Luxury real estate agent Sam Real at Nest Seekers International agreed with Kasza and said, for many high-end developers, customized, glass-fronted wine storage has become a staple.
“It’s something that can add value to the property itself,” Real said.
Real said his company is currently building two large homes in Doheny Estates that are expected to sell for between $25 million and $35 million each. They both have wine rooms.
“We are about to bring a property to market in … a gated community in Beverly Hills … and there’s a 700-bottle wine room in that one,” Real said. “We just sold a Cape Cod-style home in Brentwood that was about 6,000 square feet, and we had a 554-bottle wine cellar in there as well.”
Real said evidence of the growing trend can be seen in the flats of West Hollywood, Miracle Mile and Hancock Park. “These smaller homes are not necessarily doing wine rooms, but they’re still doing enclosed glass cases that showcase the wine.”
Bottom line, it’s a focal point that raises the bar of a well-appointed home. In this case, quite literally.
“I don’t think [the rooms are] used a lot,” said Real. “Many clients look at it as a showcase or trophy room … it gives another element of luxury.
Licensed Real Estate Agent