Building a Bigger, Better and More Beautiful Wine Cabinet


When the wine connoisseur saw the outstanding work Rivendell was doing on his St. Helena home, he asked for another piece to be added… a custom built wine cabinet. No ordinary refrigerated unit could house his extensive collection; he wanted a piece that would match his exquisite existing decor, yet stand out as a stunning feature. It needed to be big, with the storage capacity for hundreds of wine bottles, but it would also have to be seamlessly beautiful.

After accepting the challenge, Nandi was tasked with the design and engineering of this special project. For inspiration, he visited several wine country establishments and examined their cases. Disappointed with the cookie-cutter examples he saw with metal or rough timber exteriors, he decided to do things differently. We would construct a modern, functional piece that combined the beauty and grandeur of old-world craftsmanship with today’s technology.

Measuring 13 feet tall, 6 feet wide and 2 feet deep, the sheer size of this cabinet caused logistical concerns. Nandi selected and ordered the materials, including contemporary metal wine racks from a local business to hold and display almost 500 bottles. He helped coordinate the windows, wiring and temperature control, and ensured that the interior of wonderfully finished walnut was insulated with reflective foam. All joints were siliconed to keep it airtight, preventing any kind of condensation or leakage.

In order to avoid exterior end panel seams, Jeremy sequence matched veneer up the entire cabinet’s side and then miter folded it, so that the grain rolled around the corner and across the face, keeping it consistent all the way around.

“Not only is it miter folded, but it’s miter folded and grain matched perfectly from top to bottom… all 13 feet! That’s hard to do, even harder to get right, and we did it really well,” said Nandi.

It took a few three hour commute trips to transport all the finished parts and four guys to get them into the house. During installation, the cabinet was carefully scribed along the floors and high walls to account for variation leading up to the 20 foot ceiling. The crew created a perfect fit, leaving the massive majestic piece with no gaps or visible screws.

The wine aficionado was is awe. He acknowledged Rivendell’s efforts with an enthusiastic endorsement, “Your team did an excellent job and I will continue to highly recommend your product.”

So perhaps we’ll soon be working in wine country again, upgrading some of those cookie-cutter cases with bigger, better and more beautiful custom built wine cabinets!