Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The 8 Most Historic Wine Cellars

I recently became very interested in finding wine crates or boxes shown on TV shows, movies and theater. We've sold many wine crates as television and movie props in the past so I thought this would be easy. After several hours of searching I wasn't having too much luck because most of the shows were on video. I did however, find a surprising amount of wine cellars from historic locations in the process of searching that had, well, wine crates in them..

I admit that I am a little obsessed with wine crates as I've been selling them for a third of my life. I do get great joy seeing them in beautiful houses. Because of this, I've compiled a small list of 8 wine cellars that have the following characteristics:
  • House is over 100 years old
  • Property owned by a famous person or brand
  • Have wooden wine crates or wine boxes in them
  • The wine cellar was especially attractive and unique
Without further ado, here is my favorite 8 historic wine cellars:

8. Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay

One of the most spectacular hotels ever, Ritz Carlton is known for large and ornate wine themed interior designs and cellars. This space has both a modern feel and an old world look

7. Ann Colgin Historic Converted Farmhouse featured in Architectural Digest

The Colgin vineyard is a staple in Napa Valley. This very old barn on the property was brilliantly re-made into a wine cellar, with stone pillars to hold bottles and a hardwood rack

6. The First Wine Cellar in Sonoma California circa 1870

I looked high and low to try to find the source of this picture to no avail. It was definitely modernized because of that brand-new looking Screaming Eagle wooden wine case on the table, and the racks look like they were recently put in. Other than that it's a mystery.

5. Historic Weathersfield Inn

Located in Vermont, this secluded and upscale inn has a southern colonial look. The cellar is elegant yet approachable

4. Rugby Road in the University of Virginia

Described as clean, modern and unpretentious, The Rugby Road Rotunda wine cellar will make you quickly forget that its well over 100 years old.

3. The Elysee Palace

This is the private wine cellar of the President of France. It is terribly unfortunate that they're in the process of liquidating for the austerity of France. This is where Napoleon kept his prized wines!

2. Mouton Rothschild

I found the 1st and 2nd spots to be especially difficult to choose between. If you read alot of my posts you'll know that I'm a huge fan of the Rothschild family. It pains me to put the magnificent Mouton Rothschild cellar in 2nd place, but when you see number 1 you'll know why

1. Historic Alverna Mansion

This unbelievable 2000 square foot space was the inspiration for the Downton Abbey's wine cellar. It's so big and I loved it so much that I had to put another picture of it below.

Here you can see that they also added drawers that fit wine crates. I have a hard time looking away from this space

Hope you enjoyed. I'm always looking for new content, so if you have any ideas, questions, comments etc. I encourage you to leave them below or contact me directly at

Patrick -

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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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