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Alex Mitchell
Written by Alex Mitchell 17 April 2017

Not Just for Millionaires...

Richard Branson, Angelina Jolie and The Beckhams all share a passion for them, but wine cellars are no longer the preserve of the super-rich. Cool, climate controlled wine rooms are becoming standard at the higher end of the property market. Michael Graham properties increasingly feature a state-of-the- art wine cellar, or wine wall, which showcases, as well as stores, the owner’s wine collection.

And despite the terminology, wine cellars don’t need to be in a basement. They don’t even need to be underground. A pantry, spare room or even garage can be transformed into a fully-functioning, luxury wine cellar. Key factors for the perfect environment are temperature and humidity. Fluctuations spoil the wine. The ideal temperature is somewhere between air-conditioning and refrigeration and needs to be optimum for wines that benefit from aging, as well as for those set to be enjoyed next weekend.

You will need professional help to get a proper wine cellar up and running. Spiral Cellars are one company which offer an excavation and installation service under any ground floor, and in a matter of days you’ll be laying down bottles in a self-contained cellar, accessed by a spiral staircase. Listed buildings will need to apply for permission first.

Bespoke wine rooms, walls and cabinets are not just about storage either. For those affluent professionals colle ting and investing in fine vintages, they double as an art gallery where bottles can be displayed and admired, and labels read at a glance. A world away from temperature controlled cupboards, some wine rooms even have a table and chairs and a spitting bowl for wine tasting evenings with friends. A wine fridge built into the end of a central kitchen island used to be aspirational. Now it’s the separate wine room which makes a statement. How quickly things change.

Balnacraig in Winslow, Buckinghamshire has a wine cellar accessed by a spiral staircase and is on sale for £825,000 through Michael Graham. For more town and country properties for sale, visit the website at michaelgraham.co.uk