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A Glass Covered Wine Cellar for Wolfgang Puck’s Restaurant CUT in the Historic Rosewood Hotel

The New Rosewood Hotel Wine Cellar - A First Look
The New Rosewood Hotel Wine Cellar – A First Look

Harvest recently completed work on a beautiful new wine cellar for Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant CUT in the majestic and historic Rosewood Hotel in Washington D.C. Keep reading to learn more about this incredible project and what goes into creating these stunning works of practical art. Tim Wright, Edward Safran, and the Harvest team created a truly unique custom commercial wine cellar to meet the needs of our client and to impress and inspire the guests at this landmark hotel, bar, and restaurant.

Designing the Wine Cellar

This custom wine cellar is the focal centerpiece for Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant CUT in the Washington D.C. Rosewood Hotel.

It was very important to Wolfgang Puck and his team that this wine cellar look modern and elegant, while still adhering to the traditional styles of the Georgetown area. The available area was just over 50 feet in length, so to make the most effective use of the space, the decision was made to break up the wine storage into different zones. The zones would then be cooled by 4 separate wine cooling systems, to allow for storing and cooling different types of wine.

The custom wine storage units would have a glass front, to encourage patrons to purchase and enjoy wines from the extensive collection. Racking style was a critical choice, and the team choose a variety of storage options. The principal format chosen was label-forward horizontal racking, allowing patrons to easily see the wine currently offered. The Parallel Series from Kessick was the clear choice to achieve what the team was looking for.

In addition to the label-forward orientation, this custom racking solution would also allow for upright storage for champagne and other larger bottles, as well as some cork-forward racking as dictated by need.

The completed custom wine cellar can safely store and display over 3,000 wine bottles, giving patrons something beautiful to look at and talk about, while encouraging sales and giving even more class and sophistication to an already magnificent hotel and restaurant.

Choosing the Perfect Racking for the Project

Multiple racking options allow for maximum storage capacity without sacrificing looks or functionality.

A custom commercial wine cellar has very different considerations than a residential wine cellar. Restaurants invest a lot of money into their wines, so effective and safe storage is of utmost importance. In addition to secure storage, custom wine storage like this also needs to encourage more product sales to an upscale clientele.

To match the look of the Rosewood Hotel and the design of the restaurant, Harvest selected Sapele Mahogany as the wood of choice for these racks. Its reliability, strength, and beauty are hard to match. After considering several options, Wolfgang Puck and his team chose to stain the wood with a Black Microderm stain. This option involves hand staining each piece of wood. It’s slightly more expensive than some other options, but the appearance was well worth the investment.

A clear satin finish was applied over the stain, and the finished cabinets were matched with black anodized metal hardware. This combination of wood and metal was exactly what the Wolfgang Puck team were looking for, beautifully matching traditional and modern elements. Glass doors with matching metal hardware enclosed the racking, but one question still needed to be answered. What is the best way to light the impressive racking?

Completing the Look with LED Ribbon Lighting

LED Lighting showcases wine bottles
Effective and efficient LED ribbon lighting showcases these bottles in a subtle yet alluring way.

Several lighting options were discussed, trying to determine the most effective way to light the more than 3,000 bottles.

Proper lighting is a critical decision to make. Bad lighting can mean that some bottles are shown off while others are obscured. The wrong kind of lighting could lead to added heat in the cabinets, creating conditions that might spoil these very expensive wines. Care must be taken in choosing the type and placement of lighting.

It’s important to be able to read labels clearly through the glass doors, so that customers can browse the selections. Additionally, each row of wines is labelled to allow the servers to quickly and easily find the desired bottle, so the lighting must serve both purposes.

LED Lighting has become standard in wine cellar construction for many reasons. It’s easy to customize, inexpensive to power, and doesn’t add a lot of heat in its use. Many discussions were held about how and where to install the ribbon lighting, with some arguing for placing lighting at the top and bottom of the panels. Harvest pushed to have the lights run centered vertically along the sides of the cabinets. Wolfgang Puck’s team agreed, and the lighting was installed.

This solution was perfect, as it allows every bottle from top to bottom to be lit evenly. Each label can be read accurately, accomplishing both of the aforementioned goals. And custom controls allow the lighting to be adjusted based on time of day.

The Proper Cooling Solution for this Custom Cellar

Grille hiding Wine Guardian cooling unit
The grille tucked away at the top of the cabinet hides a critical component in custom wine cellar design – the cooling unit.

Selecting the proper cooling system for a custom wine cellar is one of, if not the most important decision to be made. A properly chosen and installed wine refrigeration system should be invisible from the outside, but carries the massive job of maintaining the optimum temperature and humidity for long term wine storage.

Harvest has always had great success with the excellent cooling products offered by Wine Guardian, and this project was no exception. To cool the nearly 50 total feet of storage, four separate cooling units were installed. Two of the areas required the 1-ton D088 unit, and two smaller areas required the 1/2-ton D050 unit.

Both of these cooling systems have a fantastic track record of successful operation with minimal required maintenance. The Serving Temperature option was also added to allow precise temperature control. Different types of wine need to be stored and served at different temperatures, so this feature allows guests to enjoy wines at the optimum temperature for full enjoyment.

Ready to Talk About Your Custom Commercial Wine Cellar Project?

The team at Harvest has a long history of completing exquisite wine cellars for our clients. We are ready to talk to you about your own custom commercial wine storage solution for your restaurant, hotel, bar, winery, or any other location. We also create stunning custom residential wine cellars for your home. No matter the type or style, we take pride in creating beautiful and innovative solutions that not only look beautiful, but also serve our valued clients for years to come.

Call us today in the Richmond area at (804) 467-5816 or in the Baltimore area at (443) 552-5084. Or click here to reach out to our designers for a free quote for your custom wine storage system. We can’t wait to get to work for you!


Harvest Custom Wine Cellars and Saunas - Richmond