Vintage Appeal - Homes with Wine Cellars
Date of Article
Sep 23 2010

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By digging down beneath any existing ground floor room to create a cylindrical concrete cellar with a spiral staircase, those who fancy themselves as connoisseurs can house potentially thousands of bottles of wine underground in their own homes. Fresh, cool air continuously circulates from an outdoor pipe so wine is kept at an optimum temperature of between 8-15 degrees Celsius.

Prices range from £12,050 for a mini-cellar that can house up to 650 bottles, right up to £40,000 for a three-metre deep white stone cellar with retractable glass trap door, including full installation.

For an added cost, cellars can be personalised with additional features, such as LED lighting and leather, slate or timber effect step tread inlays, safes for storing valuables and motorised trap doors.

For town houses in particular, spiral cellars can solve space and storage issues, as well as being a talking point at dinner parties.

Lucy Hargreaves, director of Spiral Cellars based in West Sussex, which has been established for 29 years, and is the sole supplier of spiral wine cellars in the UK, told eCollection the company has fitted around 3,000 cellars to date.

The company supplies, delivers and installs three to four cellars in the UK each week and Delia Smith is a previous customer.

She said: "Last year was our best performing year on record. We fitted around 200 spiral cellars during the tough economic climate.”

Spiral Cellars' clientele are diverse to say the least. Hargreaves told us her customers range from city bankers with a penchant for "boys' toys" to older couples who want to buy themselves a retirement present.

"We also fit cellars for young couples in their 30s and 40s who don't go out that much because they have children, but who enjoy entertaining at home," she added. "We have also had a few housewives who have booked us in to fit cellars while they go away on holiday as a surprise for their husbands."

From an investment perspective spiral cellars are economically sound, with no running costs and no maintenance or servicing fees to factor in – only the cost of stocking your cellar. But will it add value to your property? Tim Macpherson, head of London at Carter Jonas, believes that anything that adds space to property in prime central London can add value. 

He said: “A wine cellar, in the same way as a home gym or a cinema room, can make a property really stand out and increase its appeal.”

Lucy Hargreaves agrees: “Some of our customers have told us that  having a spiral cellar in their house has clinched the deal with buyers.”

Chairman of The Wine Society, Ray Bowden, has two three-metre cellars in the garage of his North London home. He believes the value of his spiral cellars depends entirely on the buyer.

“If somebody wants what you've got then it's of value, but if they don't drink wine then they won’t be interested,” he told eCollection.

“When we were house-hunting 20 years ago, very few houses had wine cellars, but we wouldn’t have bought a property without one. Then I read about spiral cellars and the concept opened up the possibility of buying a home we liked, rather than just a home with a cellar.

“We had two built for a quarter of the cost of a standard wine cellar. And actually the cost of installing the spiral cellars has worked out cheaper than paying to keep your wines in storage over the years. I tend to keep white wine in one and red in the other.”