by Marybeth Bizjak
DWELLING: IN THE CELLAR
While some people build traditional subterranean cellars, more and more homeowners are putting them on the ground floor. Carmichael resident Michael Ubaldi, for instance, recently turned a 6-by-8-foot closet near his kitchen into a wine cellar. Mark Sweeden
, a general contractor who specializes in wine cellars, designed and built the cellar, which has attractive rope lighting, a see-through glass door and enough clear-heart redwood racks for 750 bottles and 25 unopened cases.
by Stephanie McKinnon McDade
THE RIGHT WINE, THE RIGHT PLACE
When Mark and Tracy Nordheim started researching ways to store their wine they first considered a free-standing wine refrigerator. With its immense size and "commercial look, " though, it didn't thrill them.
Then they found Mark Sweeden, a contractor who specializes in wine storage. Their vision:
Convert the large coat closet under the stairs into a wine closet. They also wanted it to fit well with their interior design, since it would be in a central, visible part of the house.
They wanted racks that would hold various sizes, from small dessert wines to large magnums. And most important, they wanted the space to be kept cold. Their collection isn't one of expensive, rare wines, but it does include wines that are dear to their hearts: a case of the Langtry wine they shared on a date; a case of wedding anniversary wine, and several bottles of vintage Port released the year their son was born, which they'll hold until his 21st birthday
The bottles have added up, but as most of them are reds that should age well, "we hope to enjoy the fruits of our labor, so to speak, soon," says Tracy, who is pregnant with their second child.
"And that's the idea behind a wine cellar," says Mark Sweeden, "so that you can drink the wine when it's ready." And in this case, also when the wine owner is ready.
Sweeden designed just what they were looking for. The walk-in closet was insulated and filled with custom-made racks. There's a shelf for opening and pouring along with deep hanging slots for glasses. For the best view of it all, a wide door and two half-glass side panels were chosen, and the glass was etched with a design of leafy vines and grapes. The ensemble matches the couple's front door.
The project was completed two weeks ago and Mark Nordheim is excited: "I just like to go in and turn on the light and admire it all." And so the couple return to sweet symbiosis with their wine hobby. They couldn't be more pleased. "We were lucky to get something that works with the design and ambience of the house," Tracy says. Yet, her husband says, "You walk into the cellar and you feel like you're in a cellar, not a closet."