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.