The wine cellar

When a retired musical director saw the opportunity to convert a wasted void deep under his house, into a place to store his wine collection, Peter and the team came to the party.


The space just off the property’s underground garage was wide toward the ceiling, but the bedrock sloped down to fill half the floor space. The compacted earth had a sandstone-like quality and provided great potential. We could see what had inspired the owner’s vision and believed we could make it work. It was time to bring in the engineers to see what was possible.


Working with the natural slope, we decided to excavate the space and divide it into two levels. The lower for tasting in comfort, and the upper with industrial safety rails and a wall of wine. Great sandstone boulders at either end of the room would be left exposed to create a rustic natural feature. A stacked stone sleeper retaining wall matched the natural rock. Sturdy stairs and a 1000 bottle wine rack made from steel reinforcing would top it off.


The space only had a standard single doorway for access, so all the digging had to be done with a jackhammer, shovels, and barrows. Foundations for the retaining walls were excavated, stacked stone sleepers set in place, and concrete for floors for the upper landing poured and wiring completed. The steel reo wine rack was built and installed, along with cupboards, and a sliding barn door to complete the works.

The composer is thrilled with the space and has decorated it in his own style. Amazingly, the under-house location and natural sandstone provide great insulation and a constant year-round temperature of 14OC. Perfect for storing wine, and enjoying a glass with Mozart, Beethoven, and friends.