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By Emma Hooton

Trend feature: Spiral Cellars

Wine cellars are gaining popularity thanks to the growing interest in wine collecting and exciting range of alternatives to the dusty cellar. Perfectly balancing the practicalities of storing wine with modern luxury, options such as spiral cellars and wine walls can be a ‘fine’ way to store your wine collection. We asked Lucy Hargreaves, MD and owner of Spiral Cellars more about these Bond-style spiral wine cellars that sit 2 to 3m deep into the ground.

Where is the best place to put a spiral cellar?

One of the best things about spiral cellars is that they can be installed in pretty much any ground floor location. That said, a lot of cellars are located in kitchens and entertaining spaces, partly because of convenience – it’s useful to have wine stored in proximity to where food is prepared – but also because they make great statement pieces. Why wouldn’t you want to show it off in one of the more public spaces within the home? Of course, not everyone puts their cellar in the kitchen; we’ve installed them in to boot rooms, entrance halls, billiards room and man caves. We can even put a cellar in the garage as we have a specially reinforced door option which enables clients to park their car directly over their cellar.

Where is the most unusual place you’ve fitted a spiral cellar?

We fit cellars in any ground floor space, but recently with the growth in garden rooms as people seek office space at home, we’ve had a lot of requests for cellars to be installed into garden outbuildings. I admire anyone who can concentrate on work tasks knowing that there’s 1,900 bottles of wine beneath their feet, I certainly couldn’t! I’m always surprised at how clients use their cellars. Yes they are intended to store wine, but the sheer size of them means they are also useful to keep overspill crockery, cutlery, stemware and the like. We’ve also had clients ask us to install cellars with no intention of ever using them for wine storage. One client had hers installed in a dressing room and uses it to display her shoe collection.

When is the best time to install a spiral cellar?

Our cellars only take nine days to install, which is amazing when you think that it can take weeks, often months to install a wine room. Whilst a lot of our clients prefer to have their cellar installed at the same time as they are having other building work done, it’s perfectly possible to install a cellar in a finished and fully decorated room. In such instances the disruption is far less than you would imagine, so much so that there is often no need for the home owner to move out.

Spiral cellar located beneath a white staircase

© Studio Hooton

How can you customise a spiral cellar?

Our spiral cellars come in three depths and two styles: original and white. The original is grey in colour and is the more rustic of the two. The white spiral cellar has a sleeker, more contemporary appearance.

I like to think that the door is the real area for customisation. You can have rectangular, half-circular and circular motorised glass doors, which are very popular because they ensure the cellar becomes a striking ‘wow feature’ in the home. For customers wanting to hide their cellar, a concealed door can be covered with the same wood or tile floor choice as the rest of the host room.

Finishing touches such as stair treads in a variety of materials and colours and even a hotel style cellar safe in which to keep your valuables can also be installed.

How do you maintain the perfect wine storage temperature?

We are hugely proud of the fact that our spiral cellars don’t rely on climate control, but are instead naturally ventilated, making them the most sustainable cellaring choice on the market. Ventilation pipes draw external air into the cellar whilst simultaneously forcing stale air out, thus keeping the cellar air fresh.  The thermal properties of the concrete cellar allow it to absorb the natural ground temperature of the surrounding earth into which the cellar is sunk, keeping the cellar at a constant temperature – operating much like a traditional French cave.

Spiral Cellar in a stone floor looking towards a dining room

© Studio Hooton

Are there any ground conditions you can’t install a cellar?

In the 40 years we’ve been installing spiral cellars we have come across all sorts of ground conditions and overcome the most challenging of terrains. That’s not to say that there haven’t been occasions when we’ve deemed the ground to be unsuitable to host a cellar, but these instances are very rare. In any event, a thorough site and ground survey is needed beforehand to know what you are up against.

What alternatives are there to spiral cellars?

Not everyone wants an underground cellar, either because they live in an apartment or intend to store a more modest number of bottles than the 1,900 our spiral cellar holds. Wine cabinets and bespoke wine rooms are a great alternative, and can be installed anywhere, from under the stairs to onboard super yachts!

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