Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The 9 Best Italian Wooden Wine Boxes

Italian wine boxes are some of the most unique in the wine world. They offer a variety of different pine wood styles that are harvested from different regions all over this ancient, world-renowned wine making country. Most Bordeaux crates for instance only make use of one type of pine.

The greatest catalyst of the modern wine box from Italy is the Super-Tuscan variety. Prior to the advent of the Super-Tuscan, most Italian wine boxes were more vintage and rustic. Nowadays they have a newer, more modern look probably due to the non-Super Tuscan wineries' need to compete. The Super Tuscans have changed the landscape of Chianti dramatically. During the middle of the 20th century the Chianti region was producing simple table wines. That same region now is making treasured vintages for investment or for exquisite personal consumption. The 21st century wooden wine box from Italy has followed suit and doesn't seem to be looking back.

Most wooden wine boxes from Italy are medium sized (holds six 750ML bottles). There are many different pine woods that are used in the making of them depending on the type of pine on the vineyard's property. Some of these boxes have rich and dark wood colors while others are ultra-white (and everything in-between). Many are heavy and others weigh very little, but all have lots of character.

When we started Winepine we were able to source and acquire lots of Italian wine crates almost on demand. Times have changed quite a bit since then. Now we're lucky if a few dozen come in once a month and they sell out quickly. I believe this has to do with how much Italian wine is being bought up by investors and held in the box for future sale at auction (You get a higher profit if the wine is complete in the original wine box).

I started wondering why I was writing this piece because most online shop keepers discuss products they can actually sell. Currently I'm unable to sell any Italian wine boxes to anyone because we're all sold out. We've been getting many requests for them lately and it makes me miss the days of a full inventory...

So here's 9 of my favorite ones from the days of old. They're characterized based on detail and uniqueness, not necessarily on quality of wine or price per bottle:

9. Oreno (Super-Tuscan) - Branded on all four sides and lid. The wood grain color is light, and the small design is of an old-world style Roman Pillar.

8. Pieve Santa Restituta - Also branded on all four sides and lid. The design of the vineyard isn't highly detailed, but the crate sides and lid is beveled with grooves all around. One-of-a-kind unique

7. Sassicaia (Super Tuscan) - Possibly the most sought-after Super-Tuscan winery, but the four sides of the crate are embossed with the simple and elegant Sassicaia lettering. The lid is engraved with the iconic star logo. The sides are dovetailed.

 6. Falletto - One of the more highly detailed designs on a wine box. The front and back sides have an intricate 3D inspired picture of the winery and vineyard

 5. Michele Castellani - One of the more highly detailed designs on a wine box. The front and back sides have an intricate 3D inspired picture of the winery and vineyard. The sides are dovetailed.

 4. Tenuta Il Poggione - Another wine box with a light wood grain color with the design on all four sides. The logo is embossed with paint so you have to be very careful when sanding or working with it it. The sides are dovetailed.

 3. Marchesi Di Barolo - This is a unique one with a flip-top style lid and latch with an intricately detailed picture of the vineyard castle. The front, back and lid of the crate is branded with the design. The is a classic Barolo, and the sides are dovetailed.

 2. Ornellaia (Super Tuscan) - Ornellaia is my favorite Super Tuscan and I don't quite know why. The box doesn't have a particularly high detail design, the wood grain color is medium and it's not especially unique. It may be that the little picture in the center of the logo seems to take me to the vineyard for a moment. That little picture is of the winery and vineyard with a mountain backdrop. If your dreaming of a place to visit, I don't think you'd go wrong with the Ornellaia vineyard. It's on my bucket list..

1. Solaia - I realize that we're not ranking wine boxes based on quality of wine or price per bottle, but there's no denying that Solaia is questionably the best winery of Italy. Some say it's the "First Growth of Tuscany". The lid, front and back sides are branded with the small but highly detailed cote of arms logo of the Solaia vineyard

So there's my 9 favorite. There aren't alot of Italian vineyards that make wooden wine boxes (Perhaps a few dozen more) as winemakers are also businessmen. The cost to make one would have to justify the price of the bottles inside, so there's a whole lot of wine being packaged in cardboard rather than wood. These are really pieces of art and history. There's nothing quite like an Italian wine box.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Original Wine Crates (OWC's): Which Country Makes the Most?

One of the most common questions we get is "Which country will my wine crates be from?" The answer to this question is usually France because the majority come from here.

French vineyards make the most OWC's by far. Depending on the region of France you'll get a few different sizes. Bordeaux for instance is the world leader of large wine crates that hold 12 bottles of wine, but Burgundy and Rhone make the most wine boxes that hold 6 bottles. French wineries have an old world look and style.

Italian vineyards come in second as far as the amount of vineyards that make them. Italy is also from the old world. Your going to see mostly 6 bottle wine boxes from here.

Every other country is from the new world. My personal new world favorite is Napa Valley. No other place produces wine boxes with such high detail and intricate designs.

Below is a breakdown of the types of crates you'll typically find within these countries and their respective regions:

French Regions

  • Bordeaux: Large 12 Bottle Crates & Magnum 6 Bottle Boxes

Large 12 Bottle Wooden Wine Crate (Chateau Dauzac)

Magnum 6 Bottle Wooden Wine Box (Chateau La Fleur)

  • Burgundy: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes & Large 12 Bottle Crates 

Medium 6 Bottle Wine Box (Olivier Leflaive)

Large 12 Bottle Wine Crate (Domaine Laflaive)

  • Rhone: Medium 6 Bottle Wine Boxes (Generally Chateauneuf Du Pape)

Two 6 Bottle Wooden Wine Boxes (Chateauneuf Du Pape)

  • Sauternes: Large 24 1/2 Bottle Crates (These are rare - 22" L X 10" W X 8 1/2" H)

Two 24 "Half Bottle" Wine Crates

*Here's the problem: 24 1/2 bottle crates are so rare that we only had a picture of 2 from Bordeaux! I know I said that most Bordeaux crates come in large 12 bottle size, but this an exception to the rule. Most Sauternes vineyards make 24 1/2 bottle crates and most Bordeaux make large 12 bottle crates.

  • Italy: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes & Single Bottle Crates

Italy comes in second as the country that produces the most amount of wine boxes and crates. For the sake of simplicity we won't get too deep into regions and sub-regions of Italy, because it requires a degree to get a handle on that topic! The most popular regions of Italian wine crates are Barolo, Tuscany and Campania (North, Central and South). Most wine boxes from Italy come from Tuscany (Super Tuscan and Montalcino). There's only a few vineyards from Campania that make them. Just about every one is either a medium 6 bottle or a single.

6 Bottle Wooden Wine Box (Sassicaia Super-Tuscan)

Single Bottle Crates from Various Italian Regions

*We have an ongoing waiting list for Italian wine boxes. Demand for them is high this year and they've become Collector's items.

Next on the list is The Mediterranean vineyards which includes Spain and Portugal. We generally get in more from Portugal than Spain, but there's only 8-9 vineyards from Portugal that make them. The Spanish market is slightly more robust, but fewer and fewer are making them so they are becoming more rare.

  • Mediterranean Vineyards: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes, 3 and 6 Bottle Flats & Single Bottle Crates


Oversized Medium 6 Bottle Wine Box (La Nieta)

3 Bottle Flat Case (Bodegas Vega Sicilia)

Single Bottle Wine Crate (Aalto)


3 Bottle Wooden Wine Case

4 Half Bottle Wine Crate (Sandeman)

  • Napa and US Vineyards: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes and Flat 6 Bottle Cases
You would think that the largest wine making region in the US would be higher up on the list but this isn't the case. Napa vineyards make some of the most beautiful crates in the world, but only the most top-shelf vintages get these special wine boxes. On top of this, these high end production futures are bought up quickly by investors way before the wine actually comes out (Sometimes even before the grapes come off the vines). This mix of tiny production futures and investor enthusiasm make wine crates from Napa exceptionally rare.

Oversized 6 Bottle Wine Box

6 Bottle Flat Wooden Wine Case

  • South America: 6 Bottle Wine Boxes, 6 Bottle Flats & Single Bottle Crates
The most popular vineyards and wineries in South America are Chile and Argentina. Very few OWC's are made in these two countries, but the ones that are make for great wine cellar decor enhancements.


6 Bottle Wine Box


6 Bottle Wooden Wine Case

Single Bottle Wine Crate (Casa Lapostolle)

  • Australia: 6 Bottle Wine Boxes
Unfortunately there's only 3-4 Australian vineyards that I know of that make them. The few that are out there are sturdy and well crafted. Elderton is the most popular wine box of Australia, and it's the only picture we have. I haven't seen one of these in quite some time..

So this about sums up where the majority of OWC's come from. There are a few exceptions to this list such as Italian & Napa large 12 bottle crates (I believe there is 2-3 vineyards a piece on those). I didn't add Champagne in this list because box designs in the region change frequently. There are also other other states in the US that make crates such as Washington and Oregon but few if any arrive to us.

Looking for OWC's for decoration or wine cellar shelving? Give us a call or shoot me an e-mail.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

12 Most Liked Wine Cellar Pictures on Facebook

The Winepine Facebook was made to showcase what's new with us, the projects that our clients do with the wine crates they buy from us, and the most attractive wine cellars that accent their decor with original wine crates. We do generally get the most likes, comments and shares from wine cellar pictures because just about everyone wants one in their home! 

Having or adding a wine cellar will not only increase the value of your home, but will also provide you with a great atmosphere for entertaining. Not to mention, a perfect place to store your prized bottles.

The wine cellars or rooms in this list have the following characteristics:
  • All have original wooden wine crates or boxes in them
  • Has a unique or eye-catching look
  • Holds 100+ bottles
  • A high percentage of likes, shares or comments
There are many other great wine cellar pictures on our Facebook page so feel free to take a look:

Traditional Wine Cellar with Artwork Centerpiece, Adorned with Wine Crates

1 Share

The Infinity Wine Cellar

1 Comment

Stone Masonry Cellar


Victorian-style wine cellar, complete with comfy wine barrel stools and wooden wine crates

1 Comment

Forbes Magazine Featured Revel Wine Cellar


Wine Room by Evo with Wine Panel Wall


Glass Encased Wine Cellar with Stone Trim


Antique Victorian Style Wine Room


Old World Style Wine Cellar

1 Comment

Traditional Wine Cellar with a Vintage Flavor


Bruce Willis's Wine Room


Gorgeous Stone Wine Cellar with Antique French Door Style Metal Gate


Which wine cellar did you like best? Comment below and let us know!

Accent your own wine cellar or wine room by visiting Winepine -

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The 10 Best Wooden Wine Crate Panel Walls

The 10 Best Wine Box & Crate Panel Wall Treatments

Almost every wooden wine crate or box has a side on it that's branded with the logo of the winery that made it. There are many different wineries that make wine crates, and many of these logo designs have been used by the vineyard for thousands of years, or have been inspired by ancient European artwork. Some of these vineyards have been making wine before the Roman Empire!

 The pictures below are walls that have been covered with dozens, if not hundreds of the branded sides. What we do is remove the branded side of the crate and it becomes a panel similar to a wood tile. They are grouped together to cover the wall entirely.

This decoration type is often called Vintage-style, Shabby-Chic, Eclectic or Rustic  Personally I feel that a wine panel wall is nostalgic because it gives the viewer a momentary glimpse into a time where things were more elegant and simple. It's a natural mood enhancer that guarantees a good conversation. Every wine panel project is completely unique, and everyone's take on the design is different.

Enjoy a glass of wine and take a look at the 10 Best Wooden Wine Panel Walls:

Davanti Enoteca - Famous Italian Restaurant in Chicago with the bar wall covered with wine box panels from Italy, Bordeaux, Chile, Argentina, Portugal and Australia

319 Wine and Cheese Shop - Back wall decorated with Bordeaux wine panels in a 3D effect style

Mexico City Private Wine Cellar - Arched ceiling and walls decorated with original wine crate panels from all over the world

Walk-In Closet Turned Wine Room - Bordeaux and Burgundy Collector's wine panels on walls and drop ceiling

Dallas Ritz Carlton Penthouse Wine Room - Montage of Classic and Collectors wine panels in different shapes and sizes from hundreds of different wineries

"Reminiscence" Wine Crate Wall Art - Very special artwork crafted as a forever-remembrance of a husband and wife's shared travels to wine country. There are original wine panels from every vineyard they've visited, and a center piece of art they purchased together in Paris. 

Grapes the Wine Co. Rare Wines Wall - The rare wines entrance wall to this famed wine store is decorated with mostly Grand Cru Bordeaux wine panels, including the complete collection of First Growths and a vintage 1982 Petrus.

Peconic Bay Winery staircase with assorted wine panels from many different wineries, and custom-made wine panels with the names of the winery owners children

Kitchen Wainscot Wine Crate Panel Wall Treatment - One of my favorites because it's not quite finished. It gives a good idea as to what panels on a wall look like right before the project is completed.

Wine Lover's Artwork - This project took our client 2 years to complete. We worked with him for those 2 years acquiring every single panel he was looking for, and he was very specific on vintages and wineries. The corks also match every panel on the wall! Suffice it to say I was delighted when it was finally done...

Alot of clients ask us how to put the wine panels on the wall. We generally recommend Liquid Nails in a can for the adhesive. If you take the liquid nails and place it on a notched trawl you can spread the liquid nails evenly across the back of each panel. Laying wine panels is similar to laying tile but it's a little easier. Most contractors find this to be a fairly easy job so if you hire a professional it's usually not that expensive.

If your looking to create your own wine crate wall there are lots of different options. Any questions? visit Winepine or give me a call.


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Thursday, September 3, 2015

The 8 Best Wood Wine Box Pictures List from Burgundy

Top 8 Wooden Wine Boxes from Burgundy

It's no secret that Burgundy produces some of the world's finest wines. What is a secret is how few wooden wine boxes the region's vineyards make! It's in stark contrast to the amount of Bordeaux vineyards that make hundreds of them. 

Wooden wine boxes and crates from this region are simple yet elegant. None of them have ornate designs or pictures, and they remain gracefully in the old world. This has been the case for a thousand years, and I'm guessing it won't change for a thousand more. That's the special thing about Burgundy. 

I remain a loyal enthusiast of Burgundy wines. You can count on quality anywhere within that tiny part of France. It's extremely difficult to craft a comparable Pinot Noir anywhere else.

Admittedly, I have mixed feelings about the actual wine boxes from Burgundy though. I enjoy a nice and eye-catching Bordeaux design because it takes you back in time for a moment. The same thing applies to fancy Napa wine box artwork because it has more of a modern appeal. Burgundy on the other hand has very little artwork or designs on most of their crates. Perhaps the crates mirror the timeless quality of the wines. and if that's the case I'm ok with it never changing..

A couple of points about Burgundy wine boxes and crates:

  • Burgundy wine crates are typically larger than most other wine making regions
  • The AOC of Burgundy doesn't regulate bottle sizes like the Bordeaux AOC. This could be the reason why there's so few of them.
  • You can tell a wooden wine box is from Burgundy when you see Domaine (90% of the time). It's from Bordeaux when it says Chateau (99% of the time). 
  • Most Burgundy wine producers display the winemaker's name on the box as opposed to the name of the vineyard like you'd find with Bordeaux. The second most important characteristic branded on a Burgundy crate is the region in which the winery is from, and lastly the single vineyard of where the grapes were planted. The region developed an ancient tradition long ago that is often copied by wine makers in other countries.
  • The list below is probably 20% of all Burgundy vineyards that make wooden wine boxes & crates:

8. Vincent Girardin

In true Burgundy fashion, the Vincent Girardin crate has simple winery lettering. What a spectacular wine though.

7. Domaine d'Eugenie

Same simple design applies to Domaine d' Eugenie. The elegant lettering makes it quite pleasant though.

6. William Fevre

One of the more well-known Burgundy wineries of Grand Cru Chablis. The lid is slide-top style and has the William Fevre design and lettering on the front and back sides.

5. Patrick Javillier

Here's a Burgundy wooden wine box with a small yet fairly ornate design of the vineyard's chalice

4. Domaine Henri Boillot

A legendary Grand Cru producer who happens to be one of four Burgundy winemakers that I know of who produces a wooden wine crate that holds 12 bottles. Most Burgundies only make wooden wine boxes to hold 6 bottles. As you can imagine, this is a difficult crate to acquire.

3. Paul Jaboulet Aine

Nice wooden wine box with an ornate engraved picture of the winery's cote of arms. It's fancy, realistic and eye-catching rolled into one.

2. Olivier Leflave

My favorite Burgundy wooden wine box due to it's intricate red-colored picture of the vineyard. This crate is an exception to the Burgundy rule because of it's highly detailed design. The vineyard also produces a 12 bottle crate with a lid branding! It happens to be a completely different design than the one above, but it still red and still looks great.

1. Domaine Romanee Conti (DRC)

How can you make a list like this and not include the finest and most expensive wine on earth? Coming easily in at the #1 spot, this is the crown jewel of Burgundy. A nice front long-side design to boot!

Looking for a few Burgundy crates for yourself? Send me an e-mail at We don't have a wide selection in stock at the moment, but a dozen or so come in every month so make sure to jump on them when they arrive.

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