Monday, October 7, 2013

What Are 12 Bottle Wine Crates?

Wooden 12 bottle wine crates are designed to hold, store and protect wine in transit. They're also mankind's first mass-marketing strategy dating back several hundred years.

What they've become in modern society is something very different, and their possibilities for enhancing your décor is endless. They're not just wine cellar decoration anymore! Now we wine lovers are doing lots of interesting things with them like:

-Building wine-themed shelving units
-Bathroom vanity improvements
-Adding kitchen spice racks
-Entertainment center storage for DVD's/Blu ray/magazines
-Garden box planters
-Limoges and shadow boxes
-Wedding/shower gifts and accessories
-Banquet table accents and much more

The primary purpose of wine crates is to hold 12 (750ML) bottles of Bordeaux wine. They are usually made by wineries in Bordeaux. These are my favorite, because they're labels have different artwork, logos and designs. A few other wineries make 12 bottle wine crates, but 95% of them come from France.

Breakdown of Countries that make 12 bottle wine crates:

-80% Bordeaux
-15% Burgundy
-4% Italy
-1% Napa Valley

The labels of 12 bottle wine crates are usually on the front short side of the crate. Below is a picture:

The front side of a 12 bottle wine crate is approx. 13" Long.

An example of a long side branded engraving looks like this:

Long side brandings are approx. 19 1/2" Long.
Now these are two different crates. The La Confession is from Saint Emilion Bordeaux and only branded on the front side. Domaine De La Janasse is from Chateauneuf Du Pape France, and is branded on multiple sides.
You may notice that 12 bottle crates from different places do have subtle differences beside the engraved sides.
Bordeaux crate designs are more symbolic than the others. The design labels tend to be pictures of ancient art, historical events or ancient cote of arms. Other regions of France are sometimes engraved with these kinds of symbols as well, but more often than not they're engraved with pictures of their chateaus or vineyards instead.
Interesting fact: Antique wine crate labels can be found in the Smithsonian as well as the National Museum of American History.
Another thing different about Bordeaux is the bottle size. 750ML Bottles from any winery in Bordeaux match in overall size. This is because there's a standard among the wineries, and they all comply. This isn't the case anywhere else. Please bear this in mind when your looking to store your wine in them.
The average size of 12 bottle wine crates is 19 1/2" L X 13" W X 7" H.
Burgundy, Chateauneuf Du Pape and Sauternes crates can vary by 1-2 inches.
I hope this has helped give you some different ideas on decorating and/or wine storage. Please let me know if you have any questions. It's truly a pleasure of mine to work with a client.
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