Problems in Designing Wine Cellars

Problems in Designing Wine Cellars

What are the typical problems associated with these type of projects?

The typical problems are usually, sometimes, it could be anything from measurements not being perfect and there’s just additional install time for those.

Although we get the racking in and there’s the change of colors, the variance may be a little bit off but most of the time any challenges would be – we get there and it’s a union job, we really use them for installs.

Sometimes we work at night, sometimes we work at day, sometimes you’re shipping the stuff and there’s no one there to receive it out in New York or in other states.

But overall, if you do your due diligence up front with your designer approval’s of different colors and metals and anodizing and such, there should be no reason why any challenges there are in the field.

The only challenge I see is sometimes scheduling – making sure that the people are accepting the project, somebody’s there to make sure that what we’re doing is actually accurate but most of the things get worked out than not when we have any of those challenges.

It really just comes down to communication throughout the entire process.

Wine Cellar Condensation
Wine cellar isn’t a typical design problem.

We’ve encountered problems like condensation, is that a typical problem?

No, so that’s somebody who doesn’t know how to do that.

The history of us building cellars for the last 15 years, knock on wood, we didn’t have that condensation issue. We know what you need to build that cellar.

So, condensation could be – because [of] the way that the cooling unit is not positioned correctly, the fans are not positioned correctly, they’re hitting the glass at a certain point when it should be circulating instead of hitting just the glass.

Sometimes when you go frameless and people don’t keep their temperatures down to a certain level inside the restaurant, well, you can actually see that or if there’s sun beaming right into the cellar but yet the cooling unit is at 58-degrees and then there’s 90-degrees hitting the cellar – you’re gonna get that as well.

Knowing your environment and communicating where this is going to be and doing load calculations as well as doing frames or limiting the amount of frameless you have in … sunlight.

If you can do all those things, you won’t have those challenges. I’ve never run into that because we set ourselves up – we understand the condensation, why it happens and we don’t just let that happen in our any projects.

Is the solution different, say, Miami to Phoenix because of the massive difference in humidity?

Exactly. One is dry heat, one is humid.

The thing is you get a reputable refrigeration unit which we suggest and we’ve been using for 15 years that actually creates and modifies that cooling unit to the correct humidity and temperature control for that area.

Iron Wine Cellar
Iron Wine Cellars has never encountered condensation simply because they won’t let it.

You want to make sure you’re at the same amount of humidity, the correct amount of humidity and temperature for the unit and it’s actually for the entire environment, your environment is what creates that humidity.

So, if you’re in Miami and you’re putting more humidity into a wine room, you’re gonna get that condensation versus if you know how to back that out. It’s just modifying the cooling unit – just specific science.

Do you have any tips for other wine cellar builders?

You should just go reach out to your local designers that build restaurants. My biggest interest is finding them in LinkedInfinding somebody’s major hotel firms and find out who their designers are that help them with things.

You have to do your due diligence and you have to make cold calls and research. That’s all, you pretty much gotta spend the time to go find who is out there building renovations for these major hotels.

Problems design in Wine Cellar
Four things to know to win a hospitality wine cellar project deal.

How do you win projects or deals?

Winning them – you just have to know what you’re doing and you have to have the confidence.

Once you build them once or twice or three times before, having that reputation is something that actually knows how to do it right and keep it under budget.

But how you win them is just by your knowledge and being able to walk these designers and builders and explaining to them because they probably haven’t built a cellar or was intricate enough to understand why or how.

Once they get a chance to talk to me, it comes down to knowing I have the confidence to be able to build the cellar that they’re looking to do, and that should come through holding their hand throughout the process.

A lot of it becomes repeat business because once for them, they want it to continue doing business with me every single time.

Why do builders lose the deal?

I think they lose the deal because they don’t put enough time into working with the designer.

I think they just neglect the consultative sale when it comes to talking to these designers. This is not just talking to them, try to put something together, send it over to them, like a home. It’s educating them and walking them through the process and having them trust you.

Wine Cellar Issues
Two reasons why wine cellar builders lose the deal.

It’s a relationship sale because you’re trusting that the architect and these designers going to name you as the vendor of choice. And they’re gonna only do that because there’s that relationship build from teaching them the process from start to finish.

If you’re gonna work with a wine cellar company, what should you look for from them to do or to know?

I would definitely ask them their experience in building a major hotel and restaurant. I would ask them to definitely provide just pictures and give you a big understanding of what they’ve accomplished, what metals and anodizing they can do.

And it’s also gonna come down to cost. A lot of these restaurants and hotels are budget-conscious.

Making sure that the person that they do choose sticks within their budget, it doesn’t change and it doesn’t fluctuate – that’s one way of losing them as coming in with a budget and saying this is what you should expect, it’s a hundred thousand but once they put it all together it’s $150,000. Those people then lose that trust.

You gotta be able to go in with your best number and try the way they did it into their budget that they try to do. If I was a person trying to reach out or if I was a designer trying to say “Hey, how do I find the best wine cellar company?”, to build this with just experience.

Really knowing the hospitality space is very different than knowing how to build from Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the house.

Laguna Beach in Ritz-Carlton
Laguna Beach in Ritz-Carlton now a popular place to go to with its Ina Wine Bar.

What’s the impact of a hospitality custom wine cellar to the business and customers?

Most restaurants are now trying to outdo each other to see who’s got the wow wine cellar that brings in people.

There’s the Muse Hotel in New York right off Broadway – it’s a Starwood hotel – couldn’t keep their clients or customers in the hotel to eat or drink wine.

Then they put this renovation in there to put this wine room and it is one of the most popular places to go before and after Broadway shows. It is extremely busy, it’s a place people go after work and it increases their bottom line significantly.

Secondly is Laguna Beach, Ritz-Carlton it’s called the Ina Wine Bar. So, what they did was nothing was inside there, there’s no wine component. You could go in there and it’s just a very boring room.

Now, they have this beautiful wine bar that now people can – they sit around all night and then that’s where they go after they have dinner somewhere else, they go there for the nightcap or they eat dinner there and be able to get, food, wine, chocolates, and be able to get that.

So, significantly increases the restaurant’s beverage and food cost and profit because you’re adding customers who would stay in your hotel to eat and drink because they wanna be around the new wow wine cellar that’s in there hotel.

Do you have any numbers that you can share?

I don’t have exacts I just know that – all I know is that they did say to me that their return on investment was 1000% from the cellar. Having a cellar is just one aspect but it definitely was a wow factor that increases their return on investment from the project, 1000% plus is what they told me.

Any last thing that you can share that we have to know?

When you’re thinking of hospitality, think of Iron Wine Cellars we’ve been doing this for a long time.

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Custom Wine Cellar
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