Wine Rack Magic

Inventory time.

Our wine cellar in Beaune now has a gorgeous tasting table, a new lower stair (handy for getting out of the cellar after particularly decadent wine tastings), fresh pea gravel, power-washed stones, and Stonehenge-like atmospheric lighting.

However, you may have noticed that one major component is still missing, especially when you consider what the main use of this cellar will be. That’s right, the main purpose of our cellar (besides the aforementioned decadent tastings) will be for storing wine under ideal conditions. And what does this require? You got it, somewhere to pile up all those precious bottles.
Now we could have gone the route of metal wine racks, but the idea is for us to store some wine that will not be locked up (ours and our family’s mainly) and then to rent locked wine storage space to guests of ours and other interested parties, such as local winemakers. Sort of like those self-storage units, but with a Burgundian twist. The traditional metal wine racks just aren’t flexible enough to allow this.
Enter Mystery Cellar Expert who, as you won’t be surprised by now, just happened to have a brilliant and low-cost solution.
He strongly advised -he has very strong opinions on everything cellar related, and most things not cellar related too come to think of it – that he and Franck would create their own rack system out of poured concrete. They would create a series of concrete “shelves”, some of which can be covered with an aesthetic metal door and padlocked, while others can be left open.

However, because our Mystery Cellar Expert is a stickler for doing things the right way (i.e. his way, which is virtually the same thing) first he and Franck had to do up a prototype in wood.

So Franck hustled down to Beaune one evening, and by golly look what the pair of them whipped up in a matter of an hour or so;

Here it is, the template of our wine racking system (nicely highlighted by the new lighting if I do say so myself). Now we could consider the aesthetic and practical issues. Did it look too imposing? Did it hide that big water pipe on the wall? How many could fit side by side? How would they look lined up along one or two walls?

To this end Franck and Mystery Cellar Expert painstakingly measured and marked off placements on the ground, then moved the template, taking photos as they went, then back at home thanks to the magic of Franck’s Photoshop…voilà, you get this;

All using that same single template! Incroyable! Franck continued to fiddle around with Photoshop some more so we could see what the racks would look like lining one entire wall;
Genial, quoi…the consensus was that these looked great, which means that over the next week or two the cement pouring can begin in earnest in Beaune. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

*Sigh* It’s nice to be surrounded by so many clever people.