The purpose of this site is to provide both the novice and the more experienced cellar builder an insight into the diversity of wine cellar design and racking choices available today

Here we will show the wide breath of experience gained over sixteen years in the wine cellar business by the personnel of ChicagoWineCellarExpert.com our sister company. These are candid shots of actual wine cellars taken by me.

The pictures in the site are divided into several categories ranging from our standard, Classic Series racking, to fine millwork quality racking, and to more transitional-style racking designs. In addition, contemporary styles are a separate category that run the gamut from Vintage View metal racking to some of the most Avant garde racking available. More categories will be added as the site expands.

There are some things you should know about the wine cellar business before selecting your vendor….

The difference between dealers vs. captured representatives:

Google-searching the phrase “wine cellar racking” brings forth scores of potential vendors. The majority are located on either the West or the East Coast and most do an adequate job. However, they sell what they have. The old adage, when all I had was a hammer everything began to look like a nail, takes on new meaning.

Chicago Wine Cellar Expert is a dealer

We represent nine different brands and eight unique styles of racking. Therein rests the salient point. We can purchase from whomever we wish because we are not locked into a single company. (Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.) Our clients’ choices are not constrained by restrictive corporate policies. If you see it, we can bring it to you, whether stand-alone or integrated with a different style racking. In addition, we have experience with different styles and can help you avoid making the mistakes that tend to cost clients later.

If most racking companies are located on either coast are there any local vendors?

Yes, we are local. All of us live in the Chicago-metro area. We can visit the site, work directly with your architect or builder, and we can verify every component of the wine cellar. We install every portion of the wine racking and cooling system using our own techs. And when someone mentions service, please keep in mind that we are the only wine cellar company in Chicago that services all the seven major brands of wine cellar coolers. We even service some of the hard-to-fix French products sold by that company in Texas.

How is wine racking priced?

Generally, wine racking prices are a function of capacity. In an almost linear relationship, the greater the capacity, the greater the price. Within the different types of racking, the price per bottle can range from $7.00/bottle to $45/bottle. Our wooden racking individual bottle specification is universally 3.5-inch2. This means that even the large Pinots and the small champagnes fit with room to spare.

Here’s a quick formula I use to determine how many 750ml bottles can be racked against a wall.

  • (Use inches universally when calculating capacity)
  • Wall width (x) wall height = number of square inches. Divide the result by 19.8 = potential capacity
  • For example, a 144” wall that is 96” tall would have a potential of about 700 bottles. (Of course, features like an archway, display angle storage and some other types of storage may reduce the overall capacity.)

What are the first steps in creating a wine cellar?

Everything begins with a call or an email to us. The client provides either an architect’s drawing or simply a sketch of the room with dimensions and the location of the door.

Someone from our company will call and we can discuss your needs. Will the cellar be chilled? What range of capacity are you considering? And finally, do you intend to have glass in the door?

Please check out our sister website at www.ChicagoWineCellarExpert.com for additional information. Make certain to read the white papers located under the Library tab.

Looking forward to talking with you.

My best, Rick Grigsby
Owner