We Dream in Red & White

Princeton NJ Custom Wine Cellar and Tasting Room

2016 May 16
by Curtis Dahl

Princeton NJ Custom Wine Cellar

This Princeton beauty boasts some pretty cool details such as seamless glass, custom arched seamless glass entry door, stone-back lit stained glass, wine barrel, LED display lighting, and a mega tasting room overlooking the entire cellar. This is the essence of the “restaurant” feel, with one of my favorite pieces (brought back from Napa by the owner, the skull and champagne glass art work.

The racks are made of knotty alder which matched the custom cabinets in the tasting room as well as the ceramic plank flooring which runs through both rooms (and the entire basement).

The owners love to entertain and this is the perfect setting. The tasting room has an entire butlers pantry, touch screen controls for music and lighting, and an enormous table where you can not only do tasting but full blown dinners. All while sitting amongst the wine, but not in 58 degrees!

Please let us know if we can help design, build, and install any and all of your wine cellar needs…and remember, at J&C, we dream in red and white!

Custom Wine Cabinet at Pod 51 and Salvation Burger

2016 April 27
by Curtis Dahl

Custom wine cabinet at Pod 51 Hotel

Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars recently completed a very custom wine cabinet in the much anticipated Pod 51 Hotel for April Bloomfiled and Ken Friedman — the chef and restaurateur behind The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory — in their new casual restaurant Salvation Burger.

The cabinet is made with a custom metal finish and holds just north of 800 bottles. As soon as you enter the Pod Hotel, you can’t help but notice the back of the custom wine cabinet, which was made in all glass so you could not only see the restaurant but the bottles as well. It’s a very clean and sleek design which fits very well amidst the bar, dining room and open kitchen. The LED lighting allows the wine to look as though each bottle is floating and ready to dance its way to your table!

Please contact J&C so we can create your wine cellar or custom cabinet…J & C, where we dream in red and white.

Custom New Jersey Tasting Room and Glass Wine Cellar

2016 April 8
by Curtis Dahl

17' x 17' custom tasting room

This particular client has an interesting story. We had built a wine cellar about 15 years ago (no frills) in their basement. 3 kids later and they simply lost the basement! This family loves to entertain and became sick and tired of everyone in the kitchen!

They decided to put an addition on the house to create a grown up “play room” with a new wine cellar, 17’x 17′ tasting room, butler’s pantry with dishwasher, and bathroom. This was everything the downstairs wasn’t – lots of glass, led lighting, custom metal wine pegs, gorgeous mill-work, and back-lit panels.

The wine cellar hold about 1,000 bottles and sits in a 12′ x 6′ niche just off of the tasting room. The wine cellar has custom wine racks which can hold 750 ml, 1.5 ml, 3 ltr, and 5 ltr wine bottles. Several baker racks are lit with led tape light as well as all of the metal pegs. The tasting room has a large rustic table and can comfortably sit 10-12 adults (the perfect spot to unwind and converse) and just in case there is a game on there is a flat screen as well as a sound system.

The butler’s pantry has custom cabinets for storage, a dishwasher, and marble top. You enter into the tasting room through 2 large rolling barn doors which are speak-easy style doors and do an incredible job announcing the space. The room has become the entertaining spot of the home and the kids didn’t have to lose their play areas in the basement. Once again there is no substitute for a great design team and why custom is always better!

Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars – where we always dream in Red and White.

Triple Threat Tuscan Wine Room

2016 March 1
by Curtis Dahl

Triple Threat Tuscan Wine Room

We call this wine cellar a triple threat, because it’s both modern and traditional, and has an awesome tasting area. Wine cellars come in all shapes and sizes, they also come in many different design elements, but this recent beauty has a little of everything.

The ultra modern glass facade is highlighted with stainless steel horizontal racking, softened with white oak wine racking, and a rolling library ladder with matching brushed stainless steel hardware. The clean lines suggest everything there is to love about modern design: simple, clean, and elegant. The back room welcomes you with custom wrought iron gates and a distressed plaster finish on the walls and ceiling. The “Tuscan Room” is built out of 100% black American walnut and holds upwards of 1500 bottles.

Each display is highlighted with led lighting and enables the collector to easily access his entire inventory. The wine room features a hidden ducted cooling system which not only maintains temperature and humidity in the front room but also the back “Tuscan Room” as well. So whether you’re in the mood for a contemporary evening, or a traditional one, help yourself to a bottle or two and unwind in the perfect setting just outside the wine room. Imagine you and your loved one entertaining like never before.

Please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars so we can build the wine cellar of your dreams, and remember at Joseph & Curtis we dream in red and white!

Cheers!

Joseph & Curtis Win 2016 ‘Best of Houzz’ for Customer Service

2016 January 24
by Curtis Dahl

Remodeling and Home DesignJoseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars has won the ‘Best of Houzz®’ Customer Service 2016 designation. This marks the fourth year in a row winning this prestegious award that less than 3% of pros win.

Best Of Houzz awards are granted annually for Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. We just want to say thank you to our TREMENDOUS customers who are sincerely the best in the world! We would also like to thank our team because “individually we are one drop but together we are an ocean.”

“Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz. Hausman continued expressing “we’re so pleased that Joseph and Curtis was voted one of our ‘Best Of Houzz’ professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Houzz



About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality.

Basking Ridge Wine Cellar

2016 January 18
by Curtis Dahl

The owners wanted to store around 1,000 bottles but did not want to detract from the rest of the basement, which has a very large 2nd kitchen, theater room, and sitting area. We decided to go wide and tall but only 48″ deep. Design-wise, the customer wanted to go traditional on the outside but more contemporary on the inside.

We kept the outside very proper with a rich traditional stain, 2 windows, and a glass door, but on the inside we used stainless steel for the displays and colored mosaics for the floor, topped off with a brushed aqua-paint finish. The climate controlled system is hidden behind a louvered grill and produces almost zero noise. Overall the bottle count came in at just under 1,100 bottles.

This particular custom wine cellar achieved every aspect of what the client was looking for: small footprint, transitional design, 1000-bottle storage, and the ability to blend in with the current basement. If we can help design, build and install your wine cellar dream, please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars – where we always dream in red and white!

Traditional Or Modern Wine Cellar Design

2016 January 8
by Curtis Dahl

In the past few years, wine collectors have been asking us whether to build a modern or traditional wine room. The fact that the wine storage area is its own unique space allows the design team and owner to branch out and maybe blend a little of both, which is called transitional.

The definition of transitional in interior design and furniture design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary. One of the main design features are the clean lines with the wine racks and displays. Color in both paint colors and flooring tends to be a background player in transitional rooms. It’s less about the material than about the color – think earth tones.

Traditional can be bold with vaulted ceilings, mosaics and, dare I say, murals. Modern or contemporary is usually minimalist…clean…peaceful. Here are a few photos of each style.

Traditional Wine Cellar Design

Modern Wine Cellar Design

If you want to be safe try a little of both in your new wine cellar, tasting room, or custom wine cabinet – and by the way LED lighting looks great in any of them! Please contact us for ideas or if you’re ready to bring your cellar dreams to life.

Cheers!

“Eyecandy” Wine Cabinet for NYC Apartment

2015 December 17
by Curtis Dahl

Eyecandy modern wine cellar off kitchenThe interior design team for a NYC apartment approached Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars to create, design, build, and install a one-of-a-kind showpiece in its latest project. The owner wanted a centerpiece with one catch, it had to be “eyecandy,” or “artwork” for his wine display. He also needed 200 bottles at minimum for his storage.

Once we came up with the location (in his kitchen), we had to put the engineering team to work for the unique space and cooling elements associated with NYC living. Once complete we began to build out the infrastructure: vapor barrier, insulation and rough ins. The inside of the cabinet interior is brushed brass with black peg wine racks and custom stainless steel horizontal racking. The outside of the cabinet is raw carbon steel with lacquer and is equipped with a keyless Maglock with remote. The overall bottle count came in at just under 350 bottles and is by far “the favorite space of the owner”.

Please contact us if we can help build a custom wine cellar for your needs and remember we dream in red and white.

Quality Wine That Won’t Break The Bank

2015 November 19
by Curtis Dahl

Unless you don’t have a problem dropping $100 and up on your next bottle of wine, you will undoubtedly want to check out this well-curated selection of 15 wines at $15 or less! No one is saying you can’t go all out and get a more expensive vintage, but there are plenty of great options that won’t offend your budget or your taste buds! Quite the opposite, in fact. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Check out the full list here.

Joseph & Curtis’ First Napa Tour: Day 2

2015 October 28
by Curtis Dahl

AnticaOur second day in Napa began with a hike through the vineyards followed by a quick breakfast, then off to Atica Vineyards for a 10:00 a.m. tasting. Antica is owned by the legendary Antinori family who has been making wine for over 600 years (29 generations)! So in 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to discover America, the Antinori’s were already making wine for over 100 years! The property which Piero Antinori couldn’t get out of his mind when he came to America in the 60’s was finally purchased in the 80’s. Located in the Atlas Peak District, Antica’s 600 planted acres are a sight to see. Glenn Salva, the “wine estate manager,” greeted us at the tasting area with a quick snapshot of the entire property.

Words cannot describe the amazing beautiful of this property. We walked as we tasted several of their signature wines, and were invited into the home of the Antinori’s and sat at their kitchen table like family. We tasted over 10 different wines with assorted meats and cheese. It was as if our group had died and gone to heaven. Glen is as nice a man as there is in Napa… he has been working at Antica for over 30 years! Once finished with our tasting, we went to “the cave” which is over one mile long and completely climate controlled. I have never seen so many wine barrels in my life!

PrideOur second stop was Pride, famous for their Merlot. The 235-acre estate blends smoothly into its mountainous surroundings and California heritage. Pride was much more commercial than any of our other tastings but was still very much worth the trip. We were taken to their small and charming tasting room where we enjoyed Syrah, Merlot, Cab franc, and Cab…the highlight was undoubtedly the merlot. We then did a quick tour of the vineyard and caves, then it was off to lunch at Goose and Gander which was outstanding, rustic and charming with a full bar and courtyard and some of the best burgers we have ever had.

Opus OneThe afternoon was topped of at Opus One. Once again we were treated to a private tour with a personal guide who was outstanding. She walked us through the grand vision of both Mr Mondavi and Baron Philippe and how this incredible venture came to be. Modern and sleek with a very contemporary feel, the vineyard is pristine and elegant.

Opus One wine roomMaking some of the most collectible wines around the world, it was interesting to witness the diversity of the guests at the vineyard (Chinese, Italian Greek, etc). Once we completed the tour we sat down and tasted the 2011 and the 2008 in the private tasting room. The wines were tight but as we gave them more time they started to open up. I thought the 2010 which we later tasted was the best of the bunch.

BottegaAfter departing Opus we went home for a quick shower and we were back on the van for a ride to the best restaurant of the trip. Bottega is located on the historic Vintage Estates Property, in one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, the Groezinger Estate. The restaurant is rustic and pure Napa through and through. We sat in the private tasting room in the wine cellar and were treated to the best dinner I have ever had. From the multiple aps, we tried Octopus, short ribs, Polenta, and Gnocchi). ALL were outstanding. Dinner only got better…the short ribs and black pig were amazing. If planning a trip to Napa, please do not miss two places: #1 Bottega and #2 Farmstead.

Could a trip get any better?

Joseph & Curtis’ First Napa Tour

2015 October 1
by Curtis Dahl

The first ever Joseph & Curtis Napa tour was probably my personal best trip ever. Napa is such an amazing place with incredible restaurants and amazing wines.

The trip was conceived with a small group in mind but ended up being 10 people. We left on the Saturday red eye at 6:10 am NYC time and arrived in Napa just in time for the Kathryn Hall release party! We met our chauffeur at the airport and after a 2-hour drive were treated to an amazing afternoon at the vineyard, with plenty of food and some amazing wines.

As always, the weather was a perfect 84 degrees and the scenery couldn’t have been better. It was great to catch up with these clients whom have all become dear friends. We sat amongst the vines tasting the incredible 2012 Kathryn Hall, got caught up with the families and great restaurants and of course what everyone had been drinking over the last year or so.

After spending about four hours at KH we then hit Pulido-Walker, recommended by a friend at Zachy’s, about 15 minutes from KH; and I have to say one of the most beautiful vineyards I have ever seen. The 115-acre estate commands views of much of the Napa Valley from a hilltop at the southern edge of the Mt. Veeder Appellation.

We spent the next 2 hours with Dan who is simply known as the “estate ambassador.” After walking the grounds with Dan, you will not argue with that title. Amazing fig, olive, lime, lemon, and pretty much anything else that smells good and looks pretty surround this awesome landscape. Dan poured the 2012 Pulido Walker Cabernet Sauvignon, Melanson Vineyard.

With 2012 being a healthy crop load with moderate summer temperatures with no rain, the fruit hung unperturbed until maturity, resulting in a fantastic wine which everyone on the J&C tour purchased. I can’t imagine what this wine will taste like after several years in all of our cellars.

Bistro JeantyOnce again the group enjoyed each other’s company as we headed to the Silverado resort to check in, shower up and grab dinner at the Bistro Jeanty. It’s imperative to plan out your trips especially if you have a larger party (anything over 8 in Napa), because seating is very limited. Everyone enjoyed dinner and I for one gave the restaurant 3 out of 5 stars.

Check back for Part II for my 5-star pick and learn about Antika Vineyard, Araujo, and Pride. Part III will feature Opus One, Corison, and Continuum.

Westfield NJ Contemporary Custom Wine Cellar

2015 September 25
by Curtis Dahl

Sleek and sexyJoseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars have designed and built many traditional wine cellars in this leafy hamlet of center hall colonials where not surprisingly the client asks for a classic wine cellar design with wood wine racks.

Recently however, we completed a wine cellar in one such classic Westfield New Jersey home, but you might be more likely to see this contemporary wine cellar in Tribeca or Miami.

Contemporary wine cellarWe met with the client and he said he wanted something contemporary, even a bit industrial looking with very clean lines and a design that would allow him to see his entire wine collection (which is predominantly French & Italian) at a glance.

 

Getting our weld onWe designed a glass and stainless steel facade with custom made metal wine racks inside that consist of raw carbon steel and stainless steel. The rods that cradle both 750ml & magnums are ‘terraced’ so that you can see all bottles from front to back.

Because of the massive weight of all Sparks a'flyingthe steel, we had to bring everything in in pieces and actually weld the steel wine racks on site! The client got a bit nervous when we fired the welding torch up, but we assured him no damage would occur to surrounding areas.

Once the welding sparks died down and smoke cleared, the result was a 16′ long one of a kind contemporary wine cellar with refrigeration and custom humidification systems. LED lighting bars are recessed into the ceiling for a very sleek and clean look.

Guests at this Westfield home will be quite surprised at what they find inside.

Cheers!


Watch a quick clip of sparks flying during installation…

East Quogue Wine Cellar That Shines

2015 August 10
by Curtis Dahl

This East Quogue New York custom wine cellar was a modern design which features an incredible back-lit floor with stainless steel interior walls, custom metal wine racks, and custom led lighting. This is the perfect wine room for a Hamptons dinner party, or for that matter anywhere else! For those that like to entertain this is the wine room for you. Imagine that special Rosé bottle illuminated with just a hint of led lighting? Seamless glass allows for an incredible view of both the sexiness of the wine room and of course that trophy collection!

Please contact one of our design specialists. Joseph & Curtis can design everything from wine racks, cooling needs, doors, windows, and paint finishes.

Transitional Long Island Wine Room

2015 July 6
by Curtis Dahl

Modern design meets traditional mahogany racking with a slight touch of stainless steel. This 800-bottle wine room located in Long Island, NY is what we call transitional. The entrance is seamless glass around the entire perimeter which allows a gorgeous sight line into the wine cellar. Mahogany racks with stainless steel horizontal displays allow the owner the ease of storing each wine and the ability to show off the best bottles. The cellar also features a glass ceiling which allows the main floor an amazing downward view as guests enter the home.

Please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars so we may have the honor of designing the wine cellar of your dreams.

Modern Wine Cellar Design

2015 June 25
by Curtis Dahl

Modern design has become one of the hottest trends in interior styling over the last few years; the current wine storage trend is no different. Steel, brass, lucite, and glass are only a few of the materials we are asked to use when building wine cellars/cabinets.

Our recent project in Yardley PA included a little of each. The 800+ bottle wine cellar features custom metal peg wine racks, stainless steel doors, led lighting, glass, and stainless steel interior. This is the focal point of the homeowner’s basement and was designed to be just that. With its sleek modern design, it screams sexy and smooth…the perfect place to sit and chill…and oh, ya enjoy some vino.

Please contact J&C so we can build the modern wine storage of your dreams!

Transitional Under the Staircase Wine Cellar

2015 May 13
by Curtis Dahl

TCDCD-15-02-001

Many customers come to us with multiple choices where to put the wine storage area…others have one spot. Under the stair case seems to come up over and over whether it be because its almost “dead space” or everywhere else is accounted for. We are currently working on several under the staircase wine cellars in New Jersey, Jacksonville Florida, Amelia Island Florida, and Miami.
TCDCD-15-02-003

Here is our latest creation which happened to be in Westfield,NJ. This under the staircase beauty happens to be awarded to the first page of Houzz for its sleek design and the ability to store over 400 bottles (no small feat considering there are over 24,000 wine cellar photos on Houzz). This design was meant to last a lifetime.

A transitional piece which has the contemporary aspects of glass and metal, as well as the lasting traditional millwork which matches other elements in the finished basement.

TCDCD-15-02-004
The owner even asked if we could bring stone into the space which we did with the right wall. As we always say at Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars “custom is always better” and because of that we were able to include an additional wine rack on the left side of the staircase for additional storage. Montauk black slate was chosen as the floor as well as LED lighting to make the space ultra sexy!

Please contact us and let our design team create a magnificent space for your wine cellar or wine cabinet needs.

Joseph & Curtis Discuss Modern Wine Cellars in Barron’s Penta Video Series

2015 April 17
by Curtis Dahl

Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal / Barron’s for a segment on wine storage. We chose a custom wine cabinet that was built in a Soho NYC apartment. The modern wine cellar or cabinet holds just over 800 bottles and is situated in the center of the apartment. The modern wine cabinet has full glass on both the front and back side as well as custom led lighting. Please take a look at the video and contact us if we can help design, fabricate, consult, or install your wine storage needs.

Ultra Modern 2-Story Wine Cellar

2015 March 30
by Curtis Dahl

Where to begin…how about a two-story fantasy wine cellar with a glass floor, an ultra modern upstairs and a traditional Tuscan villa cellar on the downstairs level with a tasting room. Oh, and by the way, there is a spiral staircase to transport you between the two cellars!

The upstairs consists of chrome metal wine racks which lay horizontally and provide the entire first floor with a dramatic view into the wine room. Four walls of glass make the cellar the focal point of the entire villa. Once inside the house, it’s impossible to miss the complete wine-scape into the Tuscan “play room.”

Total bottle capacity is over 4,000 bottles and boasts two climate control systems on each level. The tasting room has a potbelly electric stove and makes you feel as if you just landed in Tuscany! This is every wine collectors dream. The upstairs wine cellar design is clean, modern and sexy; and the downstairs’ rustic design is warm and cozy. How could you go wrong?

Con il vino L trovare L’amore! Cheers!

Q&A with Wine Influencer Julien Miquel of SocialVignerons.com

2015 March 19
by Curtis Dahl

Julien Miquel Julien Miquel, founder at Social Vignerons, was recently awarded the #7 wine influencer – with over 151k followers on Twitter and 5k+ on Facebook you do not want to get on his bad side :)! Julien (a former winemaker of 7 years) works tirelessly to bring the reader his expertise in wine, beer, and spirits. His passion is second to none, as well as his knowledge from working across 5 different countries. Let’s catch up with Julien and see what he has been up to.

Please tell us about growing up in France and when you developed your passion for wine

As you know, wine in France is everywhere and part of everyone’s life while growing up there: family celebrations, surrounding landscapes, complement to many traditional foods. So there’s always a fair bit of wine talks to any meal. You get educated to wine as a teenager generally, and I was no exception.

But I really started looking at wine as a job at University as I was studying Biology, plant physiology and microbiology. Wine ticked all boxes for a career combining my passion for science with working outdoor, contact with nature, be both precise and creative. So I moved from Toulouse where not much wine is made, to study at the Bordeaux Faculte d’Oenologie.

Julien pouring some red

At what age did you get into actually making wine?

Made my first wines just before I turned 20 back in 1999. They were experimental wines, in very small batches which is great to understand the winemaking process. I was helping the local vignerons (wine growers) of Fronton (a wine region in South West France) understand the influence of vine training system and the type of yeasts they used on their wines.

After this, I made wine in France in Bordeaux: Chateau Margaux and Chateau de Rochemorin (Pessac-Leognan).

Besides France where else in the world did winemaking take you?

In California with Chateau St Jean in Sonoma County: an eye-opening experience within this top Californian producer. Cheers to all the 2002 St Jean vintage crew, a fabulous and memorable harvest. As I wanted to understand fine winemaking around the world, I went and made wine in Tuscany, Spain (Ribera del Duero and Toro), Australia (on Kangaroo Island and Margaret River) and New Zealand where I’m based now.

New Zealand Vineyards

How awesome is New Zealand and what are the differences vs France (both people and grapes)?

New Zealand is simply stunning. Everywhere you look (except maybe the suburbs of Auckland where I live !!) there is a spectacular scenery. Coming from a country where History plays such an important part in people’s life and mind like France, it is quite incredible to think that the first few humans arrived here some 700 years ago only. Europeans hardly got here before the 18th century.

New ZealandThere’s quite a few differences obviously between the two countries. To find an analogy between wine and people there, let’s say that New Zealand wines are rather exuberant while the people is more reserved and don’t let their feelings come out easily. In France, one could say it’s the other way around: fine wines are restrained, while people are easily cheerful and open-hearted (especially around wine).



Tell us about your work with Wine Searcher.

Wine-Searcher has assembled in over 15 years the biggest database of wines in the world. Virtually all wines produced in the world are there. With a team of international wine experts I’ve been managing for 5 years (from many nationalities, Germans, Italian, South Americans, British, US and so on), we’ve developed the wine knowledge content for the website. We’ve assembled huge amount of information about each wine, and a wealth of written content including wine regions (more than 3700 listed) and grape varieties (about 1000 wine grapes and blends). We’ve worked with most of the main wine publications around the world like The Wine Enthusiast or Decanter. Now mobile applications are becoming increasingly important and are a big area of development and focus for us. So I’ve seen a lot of the online wine world over the years.



Social VigneronsPlease tell us about Social Vignerons and what the site is all about.

Social Vignerons is a personal website I develop on my spare time. It’s about sharing passion and knowledge around wine with the world’s wine community. Wine drinkers should know better what’s in their glass, and the people involved in making their beverages: their origin, their philosophy, their passion. So I aim at creating link and meaning between makers and consumers.

I review wines, beers and spirits to share my experiences. The site also includes educational and fun infographics, wine & food matches, Interviews, or even ‘Wineporn’ posts (on the foodporn model, but for wine). Constantly looking at ways to serve the community better. So it’s a work in progress.

I would like to work closely with producers to help them explain their wines, online and on social media. Feel free to get in touch.



Why is it so important for wine enthusiasts to properly store their wine?

Any wine enthusiast is a wine investor, whether they collect expensive bottles or not. Simply because they spend money on it. They invest money into the pleasure wine adds to their life. Storage allows to maximize ROI.

Bad storage conditions deteriorate the wines. Heat, light, temperature variations destroy the qualities (flavor, texture, color) that have been put into the wine with a great deal of effort by the vines, the growers and the winemakers. So bad storage is less tasting pleasure, and is less respectful of what Earth and people have put into our hands.

Good storage on the other hand increases the aging potential, so you can keep the wine for longer and still find pleasure. It also increases the wine’s complexity. Finally, it honors the land and the people that made the wine, by preserving its quality through time. Like books or photography, wine is a witness of History.



What are 3 of your top picks (any wine) – with at least one white please?


Chateau Cos d’Estournel, Saint-Estephe:

Chateau Cos d’Estournel, Saint-EstepheIn Bordeaux, I’ve always been a big fan of Chateau Cos d’Estournel. A dense and rich style for Bordeaux as Saint-Estephe wines often are. But it also has a lot of finesse in the flavors and the texture like the bests Medoc wines. A bit more affordable than First Growths yet with amazing value and pleasure. 2005 should be great over the next 10 years. For a less prestigious (and less expensive) vintage, 2001 is perfect to drink now.



Vega Sicilia Pintia, Toro:

Vega Sicilia Pintia, ToroI worked in Toro, Spain for a couple of years. It’s a region further downriver from the Ribera del Duero, but still making Tempranillo wines, in a richer style. An upcoming region and one to watch. I was winemaker of one of the top wines of the appellation called Campo Eliseo (with Michel Rolland). A great wine that I’d recommend. But I was also much impressed in Toro with the wine Vega Sicilia makes there called ‘Pintia’. It’s a rather retrained style for that region, complex and subtle. A great introduction to Toro wines. If you like them and want to go for more concentration, you can later move on to Numanthia made by Moet-Hennessy there (100 RP points for 2004 for their Termanthia).



Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux:

Pavillon Blanc de Chateau MargauxProbably the most surprisingly white wine I have come across in my career, and I helped making it in 2003. Chateau Margaux makes their white wine out of 100% Sauvignon Blanc, fermented in 100% new oak barrels. Pure Sauvignon Blanc is rather uncommon for Bordeaux, and it is generally not aged in new barrels much, because SB tends to be overpowered by oak flavors, or even worth: oxidized! But there the fruit is so concentrated and balanced, and the barrels used at Chateau Margaux are of such unbelievable quality, that the Pavillon Blanc comes out perfectly balanced. It’s the perfect combination between freshness of fruit flavors, with the richness and spiciness of barrel maturation. It can age easily for tens years and more, only to develop more and more complexity, spices, nutty flavors.

Top 6 Vineyards to Visit in Napa Valley

2015 March 16
by Curtis Dahl

Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars offer many services above and beyond just building wine cellars; from helping people cellar and inventory their wine, purchase wines at incredible pricing both rare and everyday wines, as well as setting up getaways at vineyards across the world.

Please contact us if we can help plan your next stay….and by the way here are our Top 6 vineyards to visit in Napa:

  • Casa Piena – Gail and Carmen Policy – read more in our Q&A.
  • Quintessa – Valeria and Agustin Huneeus’ dream of the Quintessential Wine Estate.
  • Rudd Oakville Estate – Leslie, his wife, Susan, and daughter, Samantha have worked tirelessly to adhere to a credence of continuous improvement since they purchased the winery in 1996.
  • Chappallet – Pritchard Hill’s rugged terroir has become legendary for producing wines with great intensity and depth
  • Corison Winery – Cathy Corison has forged a life of wine that has spanned more than three decades.
  • Robert Sinskey Vineyards – An organic winery known for its reds, with a tasting room and tours where wines are paired with foods.

Visit Napa Valley