Sunday, August 7, 2011

The 7 Types of Wooden Wine Panels

Wine panels are the engraved sides of a wooden wine crate or box. The majority of wine panels have unique designs and logos from the winery that made them.

There are 6 types of wine panels broken up into four catagories:

Classic Panels:

1. Chateau and Estate:

This panel type comes from the long side of some 12 bottle wine crates Bordeaux crates. Most Bordeaux 12 bottle crates are 19 1/2" L X 13" W X 7" H. The Chateau & Estate panels come from the 19 1/2" side. The average dimensions of Chateau & Estate panels is 19" L X 6 1/2" H. The average thickness of Chateau and Estate panels is 1/4" - 3/8".

Chateau and Estate panels are engraved with just winery lettering. They have no designs or artwork. They generally compliment a nice French Provincial style design, or can be filled in with other types of panels to cover a space.

Several different Chateau and Estate panels

2. Winery Branded:

Winery Branded panels are similar to Chateau & Estate, but they are from the 13" side not the 19 1/2" side. They are nearly half the size of Chateau & Estate, and also have just engraved winery lettering with no artwork. The average dimensions of winery branded panels is 12" L X 6 1/2" H. The average thickness is 3/8".

Assorted winery branded panels

3. Border Panels: 

The border panels are from 3 or 6 bottle flat crates, so their dimensions can vary quite a bit. These types of panels are excellent as a trim around the tops and bottoms of a wall because they are long and thin. Dimensions can be anywhere between 10" L X 4" H and 19" L X 6" H. Thicknesses range from 1/4" - 3/4" depending on the winery. The size difference in dimensions is because the shorter sides of a flat crate are smaller than the longer ones. A perfect example is below:

Chatea Pape Clement flat 6 bottle crate

As you can see, the Bernard Magrez side is twice as long as the Pape Clement side. What we do is prepare the crate to a smooth texture, dismantle the piece, and both of these sides become border panels similar to the picture below:

Border panels from Portugal, Italy, Burgundy and California

4. Collector's Panels:

This panel type is our best seller. The majority of Collector's panels come from the from the front (13" side) of a Bordeaux, Italian, Spanish, Portugal or California wine crate. They have beautiful designs and artwork, and each one is unique. The average size of a Collector's panel is: 12" L X 6 1/2" H. The average thickness of Bordeaux panels is 3/8"

A variety of Collector's panels from Bordeaux

5. Large Collector's Panels:

This is a rare type of panel. Most wine crates are only branded on the front short side. Large Collector's panels have the artwork on the long (19" side). The engraved branding on these is much larger than the regular Collector's panels because they are almost twice as long. The average dimensions of a Large Collector's panel is 19" X 6 1/2" H with an average of 3/8" thickness. Some may be larger or slightly smaller.

There are crates such as a 6 bottle magnum or 24 1/2 bottle crates, where the Large Collector's panel is considerably larger or taller in some cases.

Assortment of Large Collector's panels from Bordeaux, Rhone and Burgundy, France

6. First Growth Panels:

The five First Growth's of Bordeaux are: Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion. These are extremely rare wines, and the panels are highly sought after.

7. Exclusive Class

The Exclusive Class are the most rare and highly detailed wine panels in the world. The crown jewel of Exclusive Class is a Domaine Romanee Conti (DRC), which is the most expensive and arguably the best wine in the world. DRC is from Burgundy, so each of the DRC wines come from single vineyards. The vast majority of DRC wines from any single vineyard are sold on the futures market well before they go to retail. This is one reason that the panel is so difficult to acquire. The private investor almost always retains the original crate with their purchase. A picture of a DRC crate is below (DRC crate not panel. The panel is displayed in front):

1988 DRC Richebourg 12 bottle wine crate

Other examples of rare Exclusive Class panels are (These pictures are of the crates not the panel. These crates are from our reserve collection, and they will not be dismantled unless purchased and requested):

Screaming Eagle

Very rare Silver Oak double magnum

Nickel and Nickel 6 bottle crate

Harlan Estate "The Maiden" 3 bottle crate

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