Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My 10 Favorite Custom Wine Crates and Boxes

When Winepine started in 2004 we sold original wine crates and boxes. The originals have the logo of the winery that made them, and were mostly from high-end Bordeaux vineyards. We were offering the originals exclusively up until 2008, when a client approached us to customize a crate for his own vineyard in Napa. This client made us start thinking about how we could make that happen.

As Winepine grew we had many more vineyards approach us for a personalized option for their wooden wine boxes and crates. These constant questions put a fire under us because there was a market we weren't serving.

By 2009 we invested in a laser engraver that would allow us to take the logo of a business or vineyard and engrave it onto a wine box. It took a while to fine-tune this process, but by the time we had there were many more interested customers that we could now work with. In addition to wineries and vineyards, we were making custom wine crates for gifts, weddings, special events, retirement parties and anniversaries.

Today we have a large portfolio of custom wine crates made for all kinds of companies, industries and purposes. Below are some of my favorites:

10. Chateau Flynn

This is a 6 bottle wine box made to commemorate a family's new estate. The Flynn cote of arms is on the lid, and the front side has a picture of the estate

9. Expeller Virgin Olive Oils

This is a 3 bottle flip-top style wooden wine case made for Bunge. Although we no longer make flip-top style cases, this piece was lovely.

8. University of Virginia

We've made several custom wine boxes and crates for Universities. There isn't a clear picture of the logo on the front side but it came out beautifully

7. Rick and Lori 10th Year Anniversary

Our clients often have their wedding or anniversary logos made by graphic designers. This piece is an example of that and is a single bottle wine crate with the logo on the lid.

6. DNS Adventures

Staining and finishing is a fairly new venture started 2 years ago. It's been successful and growing. The DNS Adventures crate is a single bottle which is stained in a vintage-style oak finish

5. Santa Cruz

This is a 2 bottle flat wooden wine case for Santa Cruz Mountains. Their logo is ornate and eye-catching

4. Levi and Lisa Old Barn Style Finished

This project made me a little nervous in the beginning because I didn't think we could pull it off. The old barn door look was a mixture of 4 different stains that needed to come together perfectly. The end result was fabulous and the client was delighted. The company we work with for finishing are artists!

3. Fiore Wedding Floral Wine Crate w/ Slot

This was an oversized 6 bottle wine box crafted for the Fiore wedding. It was both a floral and gift card crate with the slot above.

2. Elizabeth and Ryan Gift Card Crate

During 2012 there was a big wedding trend going on with tree designs. We engraved dozens of different tree styles for clients, and the Elizabeth and Ryan piece with slot was the most ornate design.

Number one is a tough spot. There's a toss-up between 3 different ones: A 6 bottle wine box from Four Seasons, a 3 bottle flat wine case for the city of San Francisco and a two bottle wine case forTime Warner

Four Seasons:

The Four Seasons was a First Class 6 bottle wine box with a beautifully designed logo

City of San Francisco:

This was a 3 bottle sized flat wine case engraved with the seal of the City of San Francisco

Time Warner:

The Time Warner crate is a 2 bottle with two inserts. This was a fun project that was well planned.

Have us make a custom wine crate for you! We'll personalize it with your own design, logo or monogram. Visit

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to Find The Right Wine Crate for your Project

Wine wooden crates and wine boxes are durable, sturdy and complement home décor beautifully. They aren't all the same size though, as there are small, medium and large wine crates that vary in size quite a bit. The key is to find the right type of wine crate for the job.

Wine Bottle Storage

Sounds like a no-brainer but it's not unfortunately. The only wine bottles that are usually uniform among vineyards are found in Bordeaux. This isn't the case for any other country or region. Some vineyards in Napa for example make a taller or thicker bottles that don't fit in large Bordeaux wine crates. Riesling and Champagne bottles can vary widely in size as well, and usually don't fit either.

The solution to this is either to measure the bottles first before placing an order for a wine crate, or tailor-make a custom wine crate to fit the bottles.


Large wooden wine crates are great for square foot gardens outside

Medium wooden wine boxes are better for herb or garden planters inside due their smaller and more convenient sizes

Gardening and vegetable seed pack box

This is a harder project than it looks. You have to install the sections into the crate in order to separate the seed packs. This kind of project often is done with 3 bottle flat crates which are rare.


You can go either way on shelving depending on what size you'd like the unit to be. It is possible to use both large and medium crates in the shelving. The one below is all large except for the ones on the table which are mediums.

Wall Mounted Collection Displays

This is another option that can go with both medium and large crates. They can be mixed and matched, as this this is an easy project. All you have to do is level the crates and nail them to the wall.

Chest of Drawers

Most chest of drawers are made with large wine crates because of how large a chest of drawers is. This is a complex project.

DIY Ottomans

A wine crate ottoman can be either an oversized medium wine box or a large wine crate. The key here is to install a pillow onto the top. A lot harder than it looks!

Will Spencer Studio on Etsy

Wedding Table Centerpieces

For floral centerpieces; depending on the size of the table, you can go with small, medium or large crates. Our general rule of thumb is small for tables with 6 people, medium for 8 and large for 10 or more.

In the case of a buffet table it's often a mix of medium and large crates depending on the size of the platters.

Living Room or Coffee Tables

This project is exclusively done with large wine crates due to their length.


Books fit well in large wine crates, so this is the size most bookcases are made out of.


Rolling Storage

Usually medium sized crates, but there are rolling storage units made of the large ones.

Hammer and Paint on Etsy

Cat or dog pet beds and feeders

Another DIY project that can be done with medium or large depending on the size of your pet. If you have a big dog it's large, if you have a small cat than medium.

Magazine Rack

Medium wine boxes make the best sense for this, as they are more quaint and fit in smaller spaces.

Found on Etsy
Kitchen spice rack

Spice racks are usually 6 bottle flat wine case because they can fit the spice bottles smoothly, and work well on a wall in a kitchen.

Limoges Box

Almost exclusively medium wine boxes. A great DIY project for a Limoges box is to place a nicely designed wall paper to the bottom of the box.

You can find just about any kind of wine crate on Winepine! Visit us to find out which kind of wooden wine crate or wine box will work best for you.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 Interesting Wine Wooden Crate Facts

Original wine wooden crates are made by high-end wineries to store and protect their bottles in transit. Before buying a wine crate for either storing or decorative purposes, you should definitely know a little about them before making a purchase.

1. Approx. 95% of wineries store and protect their wine in cardboard. Not wood. This is because it's much less expensive to do so. Many people ask for the wooden wine crate of their favorite wineries and vineyards. Sadly, most only come in cardboard.

2. 80% of all wooden wine crates are from the Bordeaux region of France.

3. Not all wine crates are the same size. This can be a problem because not all wine bottles are the same size either. For instance, in Bordeaux there are specific requirements on bottle sizes. All Bordeaux wineries need to follow many special rules and regulations or risk losing class (Grand Cru, 2nd Growth etc.). This set of rules is called the French AOC (Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée). Not following the AOC puts the winery at risk for a status loss which would be huge in terms of prestige.

In Napa however, these rules don't apply and the winery can design and package their bottles any way they want. Because of this, many Napa Valley wine bottles don't fit in Bordeaux wine crates.

4. The Burgundy region follows it's own set of rules, and has it's own form of the AOC. The Rhone region and Chateauneuf Du Pape sub-region also fall under the category of "Marching to the beat of their own drummer". This causes a bit of a problem as a standard for wine bottle sizes as well.

5. Very few Napa Valley wineries and vineyards produce wooden wine crates, but when they do they look amazing.

6. There is only one winery in Napa Valley that makes a wine crate to store 12 bottles. All the rest store either 3 or 6 bottles. That winery is Far Niente, and we have a waiting list on their crates. We generally get one or two in a year because most investors keep them in private collections.

7. The most interesting DIY item ever done with a wine crate was a guitar made by Alan Mitchell of Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co. in Eugene, Oregon. As far as I know it works very well.

8. You can remove the branded side or end of a crate with the winery's logo design by using a chisel. It then becomes a wine crate panel that can be affixed to a table, wall, ceiling or even floor!

9. Winepine can do the panel removing for you. It's not a simple task, because the side panel can easily be damaged in the removal process. Plus you need crates that are in excellent condition where the panel is perfectly straight on the crate. We have that covered too.

10. Wine crates and wine panel sides are mostly unfinished, and any type of wood lacquer or varnish can be applied to them. Some like the matte finish. Personally I like the semi-gloss style

P.S. Wine crates are great for gardening too. If your planning an outdoor garden for this lovely season, consider adding a non-toxic weather-proof lacquer. Make sure to go over finish options with a gardening professional first. You'll get way more mileage out of your weather-proofed crate than you would if it's left unfinished.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Top 11 Wine Crate Table Designs

Everyone loves a nice wine table, and there's many ways to make one. You can stack wine crates horizontally or vertically, attach them side-by-side, add legs to them, and even remove the branded sides to make table-tops.

The great thing about wine crate table projects is that they can be anywhere from simple to very complex. It all depends on whether you want to go the DIY route or hire a professional. You'll always have plenty of options and designs to choose from.

I wanted to share some of the ones I found the most eye-catching, as well as the ones I liked the best. There's a nice mix of some of the more simple DIY's, to the most exquisite professional ones. Take a look at the tables below and let me know what you think!

1. Alpine wine design's custom bar table. Alpine is definitely one of the top wine table makers in the US, and the craftsmanship on every piece they make is exceptional -

2. This is a wine crate coffee table meets wine bar. It has roomy shelves underneath as well. The tabletop is a variety of wine crate panel ends, and the under-shelving has panels that separate each storage compartment. It's very unique, and most of the table was crafted with actual wood from wine crates -
3. Multi-color stained wine crate deck table. This piece has wine panel ends as a table-top, and the panels have a mixture of Walnut, Cherry and Natural finishes. Found on Etsy by SteelCreekFAB
4. Wine crate and cork round table. This was a professional piece that is crafted in sections. One divided section has a wine crate panel top, and the others are made with hundreds of corks -
5. Stacked wine crate night table. There's a bit of a purposeful illusion here with the look of this table. As I understand, the crates are attached together to give the impression of a random-looking stack. It's a bit more like artwork than a table..
6. Gaetano style wine crate side-table. This piece was made and sold by a professional woodworker on Etsy. It's a Buried Cane vineyards crate turned into a table. As a bonus, the top slides out forward, so items (and wine) can be placed inside.
UncorkedFurniture on Etsy
7. Wine crate dining table with wine barrel legs. This is a lovely, all-Napa Valley wine crate panel table-top.

8. Stained tongue and groove pattern wine crate coffee table with glass top.

9. Distress-stained wine crate flat-bottom coffee table with pull-out shelves. Love it!

10. Table makeover in a wine-theme! The table is Victorian-style, and has a wine crate centerpiece.

11. Last but definitely not least, a beautifully crafted step-table made from Whiskey barrels! UncorkedFurniture at Etsy. It's not wine-themed, but it's attractive and very professional.
So these are my favorite wine crate tables (and one whiskey barrel piece). Winepine doesn't sell these, but we do offer the panels or wine crates to make them as a DIY project. Visit to take a look!
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Friday, March 27, 2015

The 9 Best Wine Crate Shelving Ideas!

Recently, a news story on CNBC did a piece on how wine crates can be made into cabinets and shelves. I found the story to be inspiring, so I decided to share this as many of our clients do these kinds of projects, and I've seen several displayed online. There are a few ways to do it, and the below ones are my favorite.

The first way is to group them together in a vintage-style like so:

Once they are grouped together they can be nailed to each other and against the wall to keep the crates stable, while still making them look randomly stacked. They can also be painted to match the décor like below:
Table Local Market in Bedford Hills NY
In the case of the above picture, the crates were painted first and then installed onto the wall. The neutral color of the paint enhances both the product display and the feeling of the overall décor simultaneously.
A similar look to this kind of style where the wine crates aren't painted can be found at the Ravines vineyard tasting room:

In this case the wine crate shelving is more uniform, yet at the same time maintains an old world vineyard look.

Another option is to build the shelving on top of an existing table or setting such as this:

This kind of project is a little more complex because It requires you to size everything from the table up, and fasten the crates together. It's definitely one of the more unique stand-alone units that I've seen.
Apartment Therapy did a lovely piece on wine crate decorations, and one of my favorite pictures is the shelving attached to the wall and gently seperated. There's a mix of large and medium sized wine crates in this picture, and all are holding antiques and glass wear:

Last but not least on the stand-alone style is the wine box "shelving inside the shelving". This involves taking large crates as a base, and using medium crates as the pull-outs. This is a very cool project in my opinion, and the picture below is for storing craft beers:

The next two cabinet shelving creations require a good degree of professional know-how. They are custom-built to hold wine crates as the drawers. The first one is a chest of drawers that hold all large wine crates as pull-outs:

Note that the top of each drawer has a small cut-out for easy access.
The second was done by one of our clients and it's an exquisite bathroom vanity. Talk about a conversation piece!

The sink basin is marble, and the woodwork is custom-fit to hold 6 large crates and 4 medium crates that have handles and slide-out.
The last piece is one that I've always found interesting. It was designed by an artist and woodworker, but wasn't made with wine crates. It does however have original wine crate panels adorning it's sides to give it a nice wine-themed look:

Wine box and crate shelving inventions can be anything from fairly easy to assemble, to very involved and technical. Either way it will be a fun and interesting compliment to the feeling of your home. Wine crates have an appealing look that takes you back a little in time with their historic artwork. Add that with a little modern appeal, and prepare yourself for a lot of complements!
If you'd like to create projects similar to the ones above and need wine crates or boxes, visit
Patrick -
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