Custom Wine Cellars Orange County Wine Geek (Part 1)
Custom Wine Cellars Orange County Wine Geek (Part 1) – A Processed Video Transcription
Custom Wine Cellars Orange County – How the Project Began
Tim: Okay, Leslie, thanks very much for joining us today. What I’d like to do is ask you a few questions about your custom wine cellars Orange County in particular. If I could start the conversation going by just asking you what was your original motivation in wanting to have a wine cellar? It is a significant investment so I’m curious as to what made you go down this path and put one of these in your home.
Leslie: There are a few reasons. One of them is the closest decent wine stores that I have is about 20 miles from my house and I also travel quite a bit. An issue for me was I also love to entertain and I go to a lot of wine dinners, so it was always a big issue for me when a wine dinner came up. If I couldn’t make the drive there and back, I was limited to the small selection of wine that I had at my house. Another part of it was that if I wanted to put together an event or something, I’d have to head down there to get wine for when I would entertain at the house. Ever since I put the cellar, it has been absolutely wonderful. I even forgot. I even had a to-do list – go to wine cabinet to get wine – and realized – Holy heck! – my wine is downstairs. It was just fantastic to be able to – while getting wine for a trip that I’m going to be on this week – It’s nice to just walk downstairs and have all my liquid children at home.
Tim: Liquid children. It sounds like you’re quite a big entertainer then.
Leslie: You know, I’ve only had this house close to two years. I do live a little remotely, so I don’t have a lot of parties. I have a lot of wine friends based in Southern California and having a custom wine cellars Orange County when you have fellow wine heads have a cellar is something that’s really great. I’m constantly doing wine events here or I’m going to wine-themed dinners or putting together wine-themed dinners. When I’m not doing things here at the house I do a lot of remote wine events as well when I travel all over the country. This weekend I’m going to be in New York and we’re doing a wine dinner there. As long as the world doesn’t end on the 21st, we’re going to be having that dinner to celebrate on the 22nd.
Tim: When you travel somewhere else would you source the wine locally where you are or would you use your ready kind of store of wine and take it with you. How would that work?
Leslie: A little bit of each. The whole liquid on plane thing has been a gargantuan bummer. Because if you have a stopover and you have a really nice bottle of wine and you’re stopping over somewhere and it is 80 degrees you’re really taking a chance you shouldn’t take. So a lot of times if I’m doing the stopover I might ship or FedEx my own personal wine there. I don’t how to word this politely but the people that I hang with are an educated bunch, not saying that other people aren’t, but they know their wine. Usually just walking into a store and being able to get a bottle of wine is not going to be of the same quality of the wines that other people are bringing.
Tim: It sounds like you’re clearly quite particular; what type of wines do you plan to stock your custom wine cellars with? What’s your process in terms of selecting wines? Do you have particular wines from different countries you like or different styles of wine? Give us a bit of a feel for that.
Leslie: I’m very big into California. I don’t do the French’s much. I’m very scared to head down that slippery slope. Shiraz is the largest that I have in my cellar with Saxum. After Shiraz, it’s Cabernet and Switchback’s my largest one there and also I’m a very big fan of German Rieslings.
Tim: Maybe what we could do is take a quick tour because I don’t think your cellar is 100% complete yet, but what you’ve done here on this page is you’ve uploaded a lot of pictures of the process and everything which is really interesting. So maybe between you and Jerry, you could talk us through the different images. I’m guessing a good place to start might be with Jerry and the drawings, would that be a good place?
Wine Cellar Design for Custom Wine Cellars Orange County
Jerry: What I initially received from Leslie was a floor plan with some dimensions and we had a short conversation about how she wanted to manage, display, and store the wines. After our conversation with Leslie and learning about how she wanted to manage and store and display the wines, and how many bottles she actually owned and needed to store, she shared with me the floor plan of the wine room which we are looking at here now – the plan view or the overhead view. She had a competitor’s drawing as well that I used as a guideline, if you will. We went through probably three to four initial designs until we had it pinpointed down to the look that we wanted and confirmed all the dims from her contractor on site. We came up with a set of the three dimensional wine cellar design packages here. Subsequently, Leslie was nice enough to share with me some kind of cradle to the grave type pictures where she started off and I can expand all these pictures a little bit for you.
Tim: Let’s just touch briefly on them; you don’t need to go into a lot of detail.
Leslie: I do want to point out I think it’s kind of fun because I look at these plans and this wine room was never supposed to stay this way. The original plan was to take down an entire wall. I don’t even know if you know this, Jerry, but this cellar was supposed to be an entire wall of glass leading from my living room. So where you see the ending of wall A, if you go to the end of that wall and just draw a line to wall B, you’ll get what was supposed to be the original idea of my cellar, and the city shut me down because that wall where the mouse is at right now is a load bearing wall. Then I was going to take down the closet and I was going to feed the closet which you see on the upper right hand side, I was going to take down that wall. Well, that’s a load bearing wall too. If you told me two years ago that the room would look like this, I would have said, ‘Really? Well, what a bummer.’ But, in all honesty, it’s cheaper probably than having an entire wall of glass. I can store more bottles in it and it looks just absolutely gorgeous.
Jerry: Yes, it really does as you will see from the pictures. Just to finish up on the drawings here, there are eight drawings that consist of the floor plan or the overhead, several elevations of each particular wall, and some 3D wine cellar design visuals that shared with Leslie how the whole room would tie in together. We’re trying to stay within her window or budget, so we combined a line of semi-custom wine racks that are double deep to double the storage along the left side wall. We combined some custom features in as well, so that we could achieve some of the features that she was trying to include in the wine room. It’s just a combination of semi-custom wine racks as well as custom. Look at rack elevation A, that’s the right side wall. This is a 100% custom and essentially it will give her the ability to store her 375 ml bottles (splits), some magnums (1.5 L), even some champagne or over-sized champagne bottles. Below that, on the bottom portion, will be storing wood cases, cardboard cases and bulk storage. That’s the elevation we were just discussing, which is the right side wall elevation A. It also has double deep features because as you can see from this top left visual, the overhead view, there’s a little closet area that we’re utilizing a bit of by extending the racks double deep and into the closet.
Leslie: And then we’re going to go with modular. It’s kind of sneaky what we’re going to do. We’re going to go with modular storage below because then I could pull out those shelves, and then if I need to use that back area to store a couple of wine boxes or what not. I do think it’s an important point to note that the racking, the size of the bottle opening is very impressive. The bottles that I thought I was going to need to store in the champagne area, I’ve actually able to store in standard racking, which is just a wonderful thing.
Jerry: Yes, it really is. Those openings are 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches, so they’ll accommodate most of today’s market with a few exceptions.
Leslie: I have yet to find a bottle that doesn’t fit in those racks.
Jerry: Even a Charles Zinfandel will fit in there a little snugly. It’s rare that we utilize the champagne openings, but typically there are French champagnes like a Dom Perignon or just some really odd-shaped bottle that some of the wineries put out for marketing purposes only.
Leslie: It’s great.
Jerry: The left side wall which is labeled as B, that is here on this elevation – Elevation B – and these are the semi-custom wine racks. Even though we combined a semi-custom series with custom cellarage visually, and I’m sure Leslie can confirm this, they’re the same height, the same thickness, the same depths, and there’s really no visual evidence of a lesser quality because one being semi-custom versus custom. The semi-custom line is significantly less money, but the same quality wood, the same quality craftsmanship as well. She’s got on that particular wall double deep wine racks, for the most part single bottle openings, well, actually a hundred percent single bottle openings. She has the high reveal display row that tilts the bottle to a 15-degree angle approximately 40 inches above the finished floor. So that’s a great way to help her manage her wines because she can store like wines above and below the display area, and it also lends a good deal of character to the wine room.
Wine Cellar Lighting as Part of the Wine Cellar Construction
Leslie: We added rope wine cellar lighting to that, which just looks very, very pretty. And another thing I had to say about the racking because when we were putting together the racking kits and I realized that the top was two separate kits, I was like ‘Wow, I’m not sure if it’s going to look that good.’ You could see it in the plan that it had an additional detail up there and then it goes away for the right side where you see where it says custom and I said, ‘Wow, is this going to look good?’ It actually adds quite a bit of character to the room. It actually looks really cool.
Tim: We’ve got some pictures here, if I could figure out how to get to the pictures.
Leslie: Go to the left where it says Leslie Fisher house wine construction photos, click on wine cellar construction and then scroll all the way down to the bottom because that was the last day I took photos. I think it was on May 8th. And if you click on May 8th, that’ll give you all the photos that I took on May 8th that really shows you the product as it stands right now.
Tim: I like the wine cellar lighting. It looks very nice.
Leslie: The first photo is no lights on in the room whatsoever, just the rope wine cellar lighting on. And then if you head here to this photo, that’s not full light, that’s just a minimal light. If you guys need it, I’d be more than happy to put all the lights on and take photos for you. That’s no problem at all.