Planning

Building underground environments is unique.

Like most projects, wine caves require careful planning. However, there are unique considerations for building underground. Careful planning and coordination needs to occur among all stakeholders: the owner, architect, builders, engineers, winemakers, and marketing. Nordby Wine Caves actively listens to everyone’s needs, assesses the project’s inherent characteristics, and provides a reliable solution to meet project’s requirements.

Wine Cave Profiles, Nordby Wine Caves
Wine Cave Profile Example

The first step is to determine how the cave will be used.

  1. Will the wine cave be used for winery operations?
  2. If so, what kind of equipment will you be using?
  3. If you are using the space for storage, how do you "work" your barrels?
  4. Are you looking to create a space for entertainment?
  5. Are you looking for the space to serve other purposes? If so, describe.

It is important to determine early on, how much emphasis will be on functional storage versus entertainment. While some clients fear they will be seen as frivolous, entertainment areas should be considered in all caves—these spaces can easily be integrated into the functional part of the cave, and become larger barrel storage rooms when not being utilized for hospitality purposes.

Take a field trip.

There are many wine caves you can visit in the wine country. Take a field trip and have some fun. Be sure to make a note of the portal configuration, doors, lighting, plumbing, finishes, floors, drainage, methods, ventilation, intersections, aesthetics, dimensions and entertainment spaces. This experience will allow you to determine what you want from the your own wine cave.

Engineering often occurs concurrently with excavation rather than prior to construction. During excavation, the knowledge base grows dramatically. If the client is flexible, new information will allow the team to make design changes that can result in cost savings.