A St. Paul collector strikes a balance between refined design and grab ‘n’ go wine service
“I wanted wine around me that I like and can enjoy with other people without getting too into the library, antiquarian aspect of wine collecting,” says Tom Votel, of Sunfish Lake, Minn. “Our cellar was made intentionally small and practical. It was designed as a drinking cellar.”
On that count, the space succeeds with aplomb. The open design trades clinical glass panels and vaultlike aesthetics for an accessible, welcoming appearance, enabling an easy flow from serving station to sitting area to patios. Climate-controlled cabinets and an ingenious air-vent system moderate temperatures across the room, keeping Chardonnays racked on the left cooler than Cabernets on the right.
TreHus, the Minneapolis-based architects the Votels contracted, had constructed several traditional home wine cellars, but never anything like Votel’s horseshoe-shaped storage-and-serving hybrid facing out on a room for family gatherings and social events. “They were up for the challenge,” Votel says of TreHus. “It ended up being beautiful.”