Beautiful Private Wine Cellars

wine storage wood craftsmen

It is not only the wood craftsmen who bestow each wine cellar with a spirit of its own, but also artists processing glass like lacework, breathing life into cold metal, embellishing lives with handmade ceramic panels and floor ceramics. FWC is thankful to all its associate artists for their contributions.

Passionate and intelligent design, a production process that involves intensive craftsmanship at every stage, true excitement for the job, and seven months of hard work have created another one of FWC’s masterpieces. It all began with a meeting with the client who was determined and specific about what he wanted and also communicated this very clearly.

Our client’s expressed appreciation of the finished wine cellar is the true evidence that all his wishes and desires regarding the wine cellar have been fulfilled. Access to this underground wine cellar is through a tunnel from the living room of the Bosphorus seaway mansion. At the very entrance of the wine cellar, the words about wine by Ernest Hemingway are written on the floor with black marble letters embedded in white marble. The U-shaped wine cellar where 2,000 bottles of rare and fine wine rest, is situated around the domed tasting area.

All lighting, air conditioning and music systems are controlled through a tablet computer where also the wine management system is installed. In this state- of-the-art wine cellar, FWC is able to monitor and adjust the settings of these systems remotely. This cellar is a magnificent blend of sophisticated design, finest hand crafts, materials and high-tech installations.

As one of the world’s most important wine consuming countries, Hong Kong is home to many enthusiastic wine consumers and collectors, many of which are aware of the significance of owning an artfully designed and built wine cellar for enjoying their wine alone, or with company, in the privacy of their own homes. The owner of this cellar is definitely one of those wine enthusiasts for he did not only allocate two whole rooms of his luxury apartment on well-known HoManTin Hill, but also put effort into furnishing them with the best equipment and materials for a fulfilling result. This is where Focus Wine Cellars came into the picture as one of world’s leading wine cellar specialist and transformed these two rooms into a stunning wine cellar surely to be shared and cherished for years to come.

Inspired by these two rooms, the cellar is organised as a narrative of spaces flowing one into the other, rather than a singular and centric cellar. From the entrance door to the wine safe at the end, the visitors are led and amazed at every step by intricate details, such as the polished natural tree trunk, custom woven drapery with grape figures, antique copper countertop, hand- forged iron and sliding doors just to name a few.

Another one of the criteria shaping this wine cellar and its display variety was the wine consuming habits of the owner. Since he was keen to purchase and display Magnum and Double Magnum bottles intensively, the regular individual display units needed to be varied by flexible full display units. The top item designed and built for this purpose is the soft white leather display which allows full display of 35 Magnum bottles at eye level. Crowning this, is the flashy CNC-cut glass displays backed by adjustable LED lights. Furthermore, all drawers are equipped with adjustable rod shelving that can be easily adjusted to accommodate different sizes of bottles.

One of the largest and most prestigious wine cellars by FWC is the wine cellar built for the residence of a Head of State in Asia. When a cellar needs to be an element of prestige, the amount and quality of ornaments involved becomes crucial. FWC collaborates in such cases with world renowned artists and craftsmen. The wine barrel head above the cascade unit, for instance, is carved and painted by an artist in California who does his work directly in the vineyards there. Some of the ornamentation is especially designed for this wine cellar by FWC, such as the bronze cast plates above the arched passages which are the only two of two made by a famed sculpturer.

The vine leaf decoration on the glazing is hand-made by a famous glass artist who uses an unequaled etching technique. These glass etchings are three-dimensional and so delicate that the glass becomes as thin as 1 mm in parts. On the entrance façade, the wine box panels are provided by an FWC business partner in Canada and arranged by FWC. The cellar door is decorated with hand carved panels with vintage themes and wrought iron door hinge and handle.

All wood carvings on the walls and ceilings are made by hand by highly skilled craftsmen. Looking at the cross vault alone, its incredible woodwork and the detail of the carvings, the refinement of the gold leaf and the etched glass luminary, is enough to judge the incredible amount of work that embellishes a Premium Class wine cellar by FWC.

One of the most beautiful wine cellars in the world hangs on a cliff facing beautiful views of the Bosphorus seaway in Istanbul. With the brilliant intervention of FWC, solid rocks are transformed into an extraordinary wine cellar which becomes the backdrop of an accordingly decorated private dining room.

The walk-in private wine cellar area is built as an annex to a large Bosphorus mansion. Every element of the interior is integrally purchased, designed and produced to host a genuine dining experience. The wine cellar counter top is made of hand-made hexagonal larch blocks in perfect harmony with the sideboard and the dining table. The sideboard is accompanied by two antique chairs and a tapestry depicting medieval wine production in its various stages. All luminaries are specially designed and wrought by hand for this interior.


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Glass Enclosed Wine Cellar

transparent acrylic panels


FWC achieves transparency by utilizing glass enclosures with large glass panels. The philosophy of offering as much as transparency around and within the cellar finds its reflection in the wine racking systems as clear acrylic or glass wine racks.

These acrylic panels are produced with the highest international standards demanded by the likes of the aerospace industry. The acrylic panels are glass-clear and remain so well beyond the norm. These display units are favoured by interior designers and architects as they can easily become an integral part of most interiors. All design work and production of acrylic units by FWC are protected by international copyrights laws. Especially when combined with the right illumination, these units can help create stunning wine cellars which contribute immensely to the overall atmosphere.

On the matter of criteria, wine cellars must be protected against the harmful effects of sun light. This has been one of the reasons why people kept wine in the dark depths of buildings in the past. Thanks to technological advancements, it is possible today to build cellars with large glass surfaces on all façades.

One of FWC’s work is a basement cellar which takes up only 11 m2. But the visual impact is so great that it keeps calling people back for another glance. The wines are showcased mostly on acrylic displays which make the bottles directly accessible with labels showing in full and under controlled lighting. The colored lights on these displays provide a soft glow on each bottle while creating a strong architectural accent. A similar accent is found on the ceiling, framing the delicate chandelier which is designed to highlight the four most valuable bottles on the back-lit onyx counter.

The wine cellar of the JW Marriott Hotel is one of the largest commercial cellars in Turkey. This glass enclosed wine cellar is located at the main entrance of the hotel and acts as a welcoming divider between the lobby and Steak House Restaurant. While in most cases such a high glass wall decorated with wine bottles can only be a mere display feature without any storage properties for wine, this one is a proper walk-in wine cellar with an immense thermally insulated glass façade 5 m high and 7 m wide. The walk-in cellar can hold up to 1,860 bottles in two different temperature compartments which enable storing different kinds of wine separately, at temperatures closer to their serving temperature. The walk-in wine cellar is coupled by an ambient display for high circulation wines behind the bar. Each compartment of the walk-in wine cellar has a custom designed travelling ladder of its own which provide safe accessibility to all bottles, even those in the highest row.

Many would agree that a feature cellar in a restaurant cannot be more sober than this. Armaggan Hotel’s cellar is an ode to purity with its unworked wooden surfaces on all interior planes and enclosed with extra transparent large glass window panes. One can almost feel the wood without even going inside. The custom-designed angled wine display unit with concealed label lighting allows customers to see and read all labels available in the cellar.

The wine cellar of the Sheraton Hotel Istanbul which is equipped with FWC’s acrylic wine display units, is exemplary for its lightness and ease. As simple as it may seem, an enormous amount of research and hard labour goes into achieving such an effect. In contrast with the general opinion that wine cellars need to be dark and hidden places, this one glows safely behind technological glazing, at the centre of the speciality restaurant.

Divan Asia is especially oriented towards guests with busy travelling schedules and scarcity of time. Everything in the hotel is made as streamlined as possible and the wine cellar is no exception. Strategically located at the heart of the all-day-dining restaurant facing the lobby, the 1,600 bottle wine cellar is highly accessible. It stands out with its rounded corners, decorated with collectable wine box panels and beautifully illuminated acrylic display units by FWC.

Even restaurants once without a reputation for wine, can attract the attention of wine critics with their wine list, thanks to a well-designed wine cellar. Konyali Restaurant is probably one of the best examples for such a case. The purpose of the FWC acrylic display units, which are comprised of acrylic panels and stainless steel pins placed right behind the cellar glazing, neighboring the VIP section of the restaurant, is high transparency. Polished chrome plated metal display units with concealed illumination in front of the natural stone wall enable the wine bottles and their labels to be viewed comfortably.

Custom wine cellars enclosed with glass and with acrylic racks have now become a prevailing feature for all hotels aiming to satisfy the refined needs of contemporary customers.

As the Hilton brand for contemporary comfort for business and leisure travellers mostly in metropolitan travel destinations, Doubletree Hotel required a modest and serviceable wine cellar. Conveniently located underneath a flight of stairs, at the entrance of the ground floor restaurant of the hotel, the wine cellar welcomes the guests and serves as a mood-setter with its coloured soft lights.

The Restaurant on the top floor of Radisson Blu Pera Hotel holds a wine cellar that has a design reminiscent of the streamlined modernist buildings of the 1930s. Curved edges and horizontal lines are mainly responsible for the effect. Neon-like lighting which, in fact, is all made of LEDs to protect the wines from UV and heat, adds to the effect. The wine cellar also features a detached wine cabinet for keeping some popular wines at their serving temperature.


Wooden Wine Racks for Private and Commercial Cellars

wine storage

High quality wooden wine racks bring a soft and classical sole to the custom wine cellars.

Especially in the case of wooden wine racks, the wood variety must be resistant to decay and deformation at high levels of humidity, sturdy enough to safely carry the weight of the wine bottles, free of undesirable odors and suitable for being processed with top quality craftsmanship. The selection of the right wood requires expertise, and its acquisition can prove to be quite difficult. Likewise, the techniques for standard furniture manufacturing and cellar wood craftsmanship differ greatly.

FWC’s wooden wine racks are made of a selected variety of wood based on their dryness and other physical qualities as well as their aesthetic appeal. Through meticulous craftsmanship, coupled with world-class production techniques, this special material is transformed into wine racks to accommodate precious wines as they age in total serenity.

Once upon a time, wine storage for many was a cold, little metal cabinet with some cladding to make it look like it is a part of the interior. Loud compressors, terribly detailed LED strip installations and sweating glass panes were thought to be inevitable. Luckily, those days are over for people choosing to work with FWC. As clearly evident in this picture, the cellar is really an integral part of the interior. Following the smooth curved lines of the interior design, and matching natural materials, the cellar blends seamlessly into the space while simultaneously maintaining its primary function to present the wines in house gracefully. The solid wood display units and the feature mirror by the decanting counter add to the cosiness of the interior.

An example of highly efficient space use is the wine cellar designed as an optional feature in the Emaar Toscana Valley Houses. The total capacity of this 4.8 m2 large wine cellar is 538 bottles. Its concave form, which can be widely applicable, provides it with a proportionally rather large glass display. Practically, every corner in any house can be transformed into such an impressive wine cellar without having to sacrifice either the aesthetics or the technical requirements. Despite its difficulty to produce, all concave glass here is thermally insulated and further decorated with flamboyant glass etchings. The natural stone floor of the wine cellar is decorated with radial timber lines following the concave form of the façade.

Manufactured with the finest wood workmanship, Masa Restaurant wine cellar is a rare example of a successful combination of traditional and contemporary design. Masa Restaurant was keen to offer its guests the traditional wine cellar experience incorporating the feel and smell of wood. The cellar was also required to be visible and attractive for all customers. The task for FWC quickly came to realise a cellar that would please all senses of its visitors with the finest materials and detailing, simultaneously functioning as a welcoming stage for the act of enjoying wine. As challenging as it was, realising a large single piece, invisible glazing seemed suitable for the task.

Private wine collectors who are interested in having a wine cellar in their home usually go for the authentic, warm feel of wooden storage units. In such classical private wine cellars, wooden wall mounted wine racks are taken a step further by covering all walls with the same solid oak wood, and to ensure that the feeling flows over into the house, a large glass façade was chosen. Looking through the glass, one immediately notices the cascade unit designed to exhibit the most precious wines in the cellar. During tastings, this unit is helpful with its detail for stemware.

One of the most appealing details about such beautiful solid wood cellar of an individual private wine collector, is the honeycomb counter. This counter is hand-clad with hexagonal solid wood blocks with beveled edges and is wide enough to place several wine bottles on it.

Design and Planning of Wine Cellar

wine cellar design


The adventure of planning a custom wine cellar starts by meeting the design team.

During this meeting, all essential criteria for wine cellar’s design are determined in the light of a variety of factors including the designated location for the cellar, the wine purchase habits and the consumption frequency it is to service. After evaluation of these specific requirements, the process of computer-aided design and planning is followed by the production phase including critically significant insulation. The entire process of application is completed with the installation of equipment, storage units and the specialised wine cellar door.

The expert designers at FWC conceptualise wine cellars not only as rooms for preserving wine bottles properly, but also as prestigious spaces contributing to the overall aesthetics of the accommodating building whether it be a house, a villa, a restaurant, a hotel or a wine boutique.

The design and planning of wine cellars must be carried out by an expert team. Improperly planned wine cellars cannot provide the necessary conditions for precious wines to age flawlessly. The design and planning process at FWC is customarily supported with 2D and 3D renderings, providing additional visual information about the prospective cellars for wine lovers.

Each one of the cellars featured in this chapter are very different from each other and are there to give a comprehensive account of the range of possibilities to build a custom wine cellar.

Divan Istanbul Hotel’s cellar has some unique features, one of which is especially noteworthy. This massive 2,000-bottle wine cellar was originally planned as a long-term storage space, on top of the bar, with access through the hotel’s central staircase. For daily use, two vertical extensions were added down towards the bar to allow access to the bottles from the ground floor. With the help of an innovative air circulation system, the conditioned air inside the wine cellar circulates between the ground floor and the first floor.

The bar is ‘hooded’ by the wine cellar and this idea is reflected in the design as a U-shaped, 7-metre-high glass cellar façade clad with wine bottles. A true edifice for wine culture.

This level of detailing and materialisation is the result of meticulous research efforts, and their cohesion is achieved by using advanced (2D and 3D) design tools and wine cellar design software. To attain rooms designed not only for preserving wines correctly, but as rooms which are also prestigious spaces, designers at FWC put many hours of work into determining the right place for every single bottle and every ornament on the floor, walls and ceiling.

FWC’s wine cellar built on a rocky cliff facing the gorgeous views of the Bosphorus seaway was an inspiration to the interior designers of Cave Bar of Dubai Conrad Hotel. They conceived the bar as an authentic wine cave with crude walls, dramatic lighting and all walls covered with wine bottles. Focus Wine Cellars designed the wine cellar area as a tasting room large enough to accommodate bigger groups, which is embraced by fully transparent wine storage. The horizontally aligned wavy strips of light and alternating hoards of wine on rugged timber logs give the impression of a continuous wine storage but in fact it is a threefold cellar, all individually set and maintained to keep different wines at temperatures close to their serving temperature.

After considerable success at the Sheraton Hotel, FWC expanded its coverage to other Sheraton Hotels. In this instance, the space reserved for the custom wine cellar was large enough to be divided into two compartments each with a different temperature setting.

Though the preservation conditions for all wines are the same, and they are usually kept together in one cellar, creating separate compartments with different climate conditions can sometimes have its own operational advantages. With a standard one-compartment cellar, white wines need to be chilled before serving in order to attain the required serving temperature. With a dual-compartment cellar, as the preservation temperature is low, not only is it time efficient, with less chilling time required, but it is also far more conducive for the bouquet of the wine to come forth.

Linear alignment of the two compartments behind a uniform glass façade creates an image of a large single-space wine cellar. Acrylic wine storage units, which comprise of CNC-cut acrylic panels and concealed LED illumination, add to the simple elegance.

An accepted opinion on custom wine cellar design is that they occupy too much space, and this is often the argument for smaller restaurants to choose wine cabinets, or to ignore the idea of specialised storage altogether. In reality, a wine cabinet is hardly an equivalent replacement for a proper walk-in wine cellar; the fact is that the thermal mass inside a wine cellar is always incomparably higher than that of a wine cabinet, and this in turn effects crucial temperature stability. Temperature stability is not obtainable in wine cabinets as successfully as in walk-in wine cellars. The ambition at FWC is to find integral design solutions to realise a wine cellar even when it initially seems unlikely.

FWC designed its smallest commercial walk-in wine cellar for an area of 2.2 m2. The white lacquer and glass box is a subtle manifestation of the minimal design intent which is also dually functional as a separator between the dining hall and the kitchen entrance.

An all-wood cellar sometimes can be found too classic for a contemporary home interior. Still, the warmth of wood is something that most wine enthusiast want to have for their wines. This is where FWC comes in to carefully pick and design materials to “lighten up” the cellar. In this case, the classic oak wood is combined with two large panels of back- lit onyx where wine bottles are arrayed with bronze pins. Bordeaux or Burgundy, these pins can hold regular 750ml bottles as well as magnums. For the rest, the drawers under the onyx counter offer flexible storage space for various sizes. The very large formats like Jeroboams and Imperials can be stored at the very end of the cellar, on the shelves above the cooling unit, or standing up on the counter. Just like sparkling wine…

Stained white oak on the floor, bronze covered brick vault with concealed lighting and the ornamented light boxes between the onyx panels further light up the cellar.

FWC offers the widest design variety and architectural appeal in its commercial and private custom wine cellars. FWC takes the expectations of its wine lover clients further by providing them the best and unique wine cellar design with highest quality of work.

Cellar designs

About Wine Preservation

wine preservation


The practice of wine preservation started in the underground caves of Europe. These caves provided the conditions suitable for aging wine perfectly.

Wine is delicate; maximizing its potential and accentuating its subtle aromas requires special care and attention…

Through its scents, colors and aromas, clues to the life story of a wine can be found. The age of a wine, the variety of grapes and the conditions of growth can be identified by tasting a glass of wine; it is also possible to tell whether the wine was preserved properly or not.

Special care in preservation is essential for perfect maturation and the unfolding of rich bouquets. Over the centuries, wine culture and production methods have undergone numerous changes. Throughout history new wine grapes have been cultivated, techniques of viticulture and winemaking have evolved.

Thanks to modern technology, we do not have to go underground to preserve our wines. Wine cellars of our day offer the environment where hundreds of wines can age and mature in total calm for years as if they were in an actual underground cellar. The manufacturing and installation of wine cellars involve as much expertise as their design do.

One of the most important reasons a cellar must be realised by a specialised team is the issue of insulation. Insulation is fundamental to sustaining the necessary physical features of a wine cellar, including temperature and humidity control. Insufficient thermal insulation and vapor barriers cause undesirable circumstances such as wide temperature fluctuations, extreme humidity, mold and odors. Temperature fluctuations result in the fast oxidation of wine while extreme humidity damages bottle labels and undesirable odors can taint the bouquet thus ruin quality.

In other words, more than the degree of temperature, it is the prevention of temperature fluctuations which plays the crucial role in an ideal wine cellar. Cellars by FWC are equipped with purpose-built special wine cellar air-conditioners which ensure that the cellar’s temperature is always at the adjusted degree and the critical temperature fluctuations are avoided. These highly sensitive pieces of equipment will function properly only when and if the cellar space is sufficiently and correctly insulated.

Humidity is also maintained at the desired range by these special air-conditioners. Their superior air ventilation feature prevents stagnant air inside the cellar and circulates it continuously. As a result, variation of temperature between the floor and the ceiling and thus the uneven maturation of wines on different shelves are avoided.

Efficient space planning and absolute charm. Can these go together? As this new cellar by FWC by Lake Ontario, Canada proves, absolutely! In an area of 6 m2, around 1000 bottles are individually made available in this cellar for cherishing and enjoying. Behind two large pieces of specialist cellar glazing, lit acrylic shelves display the majority of the bottles for visual enjoyment from the double high living room. The wine cellar is located directly opposite the central fireplace. Inside where the air is strictly kept conditioned for wine, more space is created for bottles in various sizes: regular bottles, magnums, jeroboams etc…

The general design and detailing of the cellar is modern, elegantly matching the style of the house. The staining color of the oak wood on the façade and all around the interior of the cellar was carefully chosen and creates a charming contrast with the dark grey graffiti marble on the floor.

Every wine cellar is shaped by a negotiation between the two inherent but contradicting functions of a wine cellar: exhibiting and safeguarding. The task is sometimes so complicated that each wine cellar becomes a new invention on its own; it is shaped by pushing the limits of technical possibilities. The wine cellar inside Sunset Restaurant is a typical example of this innovative approach. The insulation task was complicated by the obligation to create large glazings for an oval plan layout to meet the high transparency expectancies of the client.

This residential cellar has a unique design that radiates a fantastical feeling of space. The wine bottles are arranged on CNC-cut glass shelves in a polar array of 300 degrees, from the ceiling to the floor. This ultra-modern setting, in combination with ingenious concealed LED illumination, gives the interior of the wine cellar a divine quality. On the outside, the cellar is a curious illuminated cylinder at the back of the living room. Profound detailing and exquisite workmanship, ensure the maintenance of ideal climate conditions inside. The cellar exemplifies FWC’s ability to combine style with technical perfectionism.

The entrance to Dubai Conrad Hotel’s Marco Pierre White Grill Restaurant is an archway of wine. Guests are welcomed by sixteen select wines in gun barrel-shaped window displays on sides and four rows of lit up bottles in the ceiling. It’s a splendid light and shadow play, intensified with changing rhythm of planes, shapes and colours. Behind this unusual array of bottle displays are two walk-in wine cellars -one for red and one for white wines- which are the result of precise engineering and fine workmanship.

The door is the most tricky element of a wine cellar because it is the weakest point of the cellar in terms of insulation efforts made for ensuring the temperature stability and condensation control. Engineered details, including carefully picked and crafted materials make the cellar doors by FWC technically superb.
Moreover, a cellar door is never just a cellar door for FWC. Great design effort goes into each cellar door, sometimes involving artists and skilled craftsmen as it was the case in this beautiful residential cellar built in the annex building of an Istanbul mansion by the Bosphorus seaway. The cellar door features CNC-cut solid wood panels with thin copper inlays on both sides and hand-wrought steel pull handles. A copy of the cellar door is made for the door to the pantry to create a symmetry.

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China’s Wine Market Consumer Preferences

chinese wine consumer market

As China underwent its economic transition in the past 10 years, its citizens have become important consumers in the luxury goods market. Mainland consumers are becoming increasingly demanding of food and drink as their income and spending power increase. As luxury and lifestyle become more important to mainlanders, the demand for wine has been steadily growing in recent years, with increases registered in both the value and volume of wine imports.

China is likely to displace Britain as the world’s second largest wine consumer in terms of value by 2021, according to research from Vinexpo—one of the largest exhibitions for wine and spirits professionals globally—and the UK-based International Wine and Spirit Research.

The growth rate of the Chinese wine market is estimated to exceed 30% over the next five years, starting from 2017 onward, and attain a size of $23 billion in 2021, second only to the US.

According to the presentation of Dr. Justin Cohen, research fellow at Ehrenberg-Bass, in 2013 at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, the most important motivation for drinking wine in China was that wine was good for the health. However, over the years, the wine consumers and consumer behaviour have changed. According to Wine Intelligence Senior Research Manager Chuan Zhou, Chinese wine consumers are now younger, and drinking for pleasure, rather than status or health.

Red wine remains the default wine choice for many in China. Red wine occupies 71% of all the wine products on online shopping malls and white wine follows as 16%. Sparkling wine makes up just 1% of wine sales in China, but in 2017, bottles of bubbly made up a lot of ground, reaching $75 million—a 33% increase from the previous year. Over the last three years, we have seen remarkable growth of nearly 80% in organic and biodynamic wine entries.

China now boasts 21 million online wine buyers who look for imported wine. Of all Chinese imported wine customers, 62% view news and information online, and 47% buy wine via online channels. Wine is the most purchased among all the online alcohol customers with a robust growth compared to other alcohols.

Hong Kong as a Major Player

For the most part, wine collectors in Asia still regard wines as an investment rather than a mere drink. Hong Kong is quickly becoming a regional wine trading and distribution hub in Asia.

This is because it has zero duties on wine, a policy instilled in 2008, which makes imports a hassle-free process. Hong Kong is also now the world’s second largest wine auctions, surpassing London. Sotheby’s was able to raise 14.3 million USD in just two auctions held in Hong Kong. To offer some context, it took eight auctions to raise the same amount of money in London. Hong Kong also provides easy access, as it has an ideal geographical location for Asian distribution. Many imported wines are then stored in Hong Kong facilities. Plenty of these storage facilities are converted factories that had been empty for long periods of time. Hong Kong is serious about wine storage, with the Hong Kong Assurance Agency launching a certification program to ensure proper storage conditions. Requirements cover adequate temperature, humidity, lighting, vibration, monitoring, and review.

Foreign Investment of Vineyards

Chinese investors have turned to vineyards as their next lucrative financial prospect. France’s wine region of Bordeaux has seen an influx of international buyers in addition to Tuscany, Italy’s wine hub. As of 2010, more than 140 wineries have been purchased by Chinese investors, many of which are hotel owners. In doing so, they are able to reduce costs and streamline the distribution process. The investments are also a way of diversifying risk, with many Chinese purchasing the vineyards as a vacation home.

According to Forbes, there are only four fundamental ways to invest successfully in fine wine:

1. Stay focused and buy the best of the best ‘brands’;
2. Buy those wines in quantity and in original packaging whenever possible;
3. Don’t be afraid to pay up for the scarcest brands;
4. Store your wines in ideal conditions.


Focus Wine Cellars is dedicated to bringing you luxury wine storage solutions. Learn more about our services by calling 1-905-617-6106.

History of the Wine Cellar

history of the wine cellar

While you are sipping your prized bottle of vintage wine, you might be surprised to know that people have been enjoying wine for much longer than you think. Wine is now perceived to be a luxury item, with health benefits derived from antioxidants and polyphenols; but, amazingly, it is actually dated back up to 8000 years ago with much more modest beginnings. After wine consumption was popularized, people became interested in the various assortments of wine and the impacts of storage on quality.

Early Origins

Cultures define themselves based on the practice of rituals, vivid history, and traditional meals. But one thing that nearly all cultures share is a love for wine. The cultivation of vines for the making of wine originated some time before 4000 BCE and possibly as early as 6000 BCE. This occurred in the mountainous region between Black Sea and Caspian Sea, bordering Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Georgia. The earliest archaeological evidence of wine has been at sites in China (c. 7000 BCE).

Earliest traces of viticulture recovered were dated back to the Early Bronze Age in the east of the Mediterranean basin. A wine shop with storage jars and drinking cups from the late Bronze Age were found in this area. In the ruins of a city that dates back to about 1700 BCE, one of the world’s oldest known wine cellars was discovered in Tel Kabri. The city was constructed and inhabited by the Canaanites, a culture that existed in what is now Israel, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan and Syria. The storage room is approximately four and a half by seven meters and contained 40 jars, totalling 2000 litres of liquid, or approximately 3000 bottles of wine. Archaeologists were able to determine that the contents of the jars were wine by testing the residue and found ingredients, such as honey, mint, cinnamon bark, and juniper berries. These were popular elements in ancient Egyptian medicinal wine. Early forms of storage were also found in Europe where wine was stored in caves. Although much less sophisticated than modern day wine storage, these caves were able to provide consistent storage conditions for wine to age.

The Roman Empire had an immense impact on the development of viticulture and oenology. Wine was an integral part of the Roman diet, and winemaking became a flourishing business. Winemaking technology improved considerably during this time. Wine storage rooms were built facing north, “since that quarter is never subject to change but is always constant and unshifting”.


Wine cellars have become much more sophisticated in present day. Today wine cellars don’t have to be underground or facing north. Available technology enables the wine cellar specialists to design and build wine cellars in the middle of the living room, even surrounded by glass and still be protected from UV rays, solar radiation and condensation. Of course, it should be designed and built expertly to ensure insulation, lighting and temperature control elements. Focus Wine Cellars use highly insulated triple cellar glazing with a lamination film filtering 99% of the UV rays.


If you are look to build a wine cellar for your home or business, trust the experts at Focus Wine CellarsTo learn more about our services and discover the right wine storage solution for you, call 1-905-617-6106.