Today in Russia there are more and more collectors who can afford to collect good wines. For most, this is a hobby, a hobby. And for some, it’s also an effective investment. A bottle of a young, but "well-deserved" collection wine, after several years, if properly stored, rises in price at least twice, and more often three to five times.
This is where the opportunities open up for launching a new service on the market - the design and construction of cellars. After all, a wine cellar is not a banal raw dungeon for storing potatoes, but a charm, traditions of antiquity, fashion. Even in the capital, this niche is still not developed. The market is chaotic, but not a single player complains about the shortage of customers.
Domostroy also advised the owners of wine collections: “Dry and honey wines and other best drinks should be stored in a special cellar, so that the owner himself would keep an eye on them.”
A cellar can be any room that is reliably protected from sources of heat and cold, where it is dark, there is no vibration, and constant, without sudden jumps, temperature and humidity of over 55% are maintained. The accepted practice is the allocation of a special room in a country house or in a restaurant. And the specified parameters of the master "in the cellars" are provided by installing special ("ground" for wine storage) climatic equipment from French, Canadian and American manufacturers. The main thing is that the client has the desire and means.
Business in the design and construction of cellars is at the junction of several industries. First of all, specialists are required to be able to choose the design and furniture for the room, correct existing deficiencies and meet the proposed budget, preserving the precious collection.
Today, several strong players are already active in this market. These are specialized companies (El Bodegon, Old Wood) that provide services related to the storage of wine, and large service services (for example, A-Iceberg), and companies for which this business is secondary.
The interest in the owners of "wineries" and country houses from private cabinetmakers, as well as owners of carpentry, producing exclusive products from precious wood, is natural. Say, Tree Art is advancing on a wide front, engaged in the design and manufacture of bar counters, garden and park forms, commercial equipment, a variety of furniture and wine cellars made of precious wood, metal and other materials for individual projects. In turn, the mentioned El Bodegon works in three directions. These are turnkey “wine cellars”, wine racks and accessories, as well as assistance in the formation of collections. By the way, not so long ago, the company began its own production.
The Russian wine cellar market is on the rise. So, you can aim at both the exclusive and expensive segment, and more modestly for customers. The number of private homeowners who are ready to spend quite decent money on arranging a small room for storing a wine collection is constantly growing.
Interest in wine cellars is also demonstrated by many Russian regions.
According to experts, the Krasnodar Territory and Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Tolyatti are very promising. Given the well-known tendency for regions to lag behind the capital's fashions and trends for three to five years, this business can become very successful outside of Moscow. Especially where the climate is warm and new country villas appear.
It is clear that the main customers here are people with incomes above the average, owners of country houses. A fairly wide corporate audience. These are wine trading companies and restaurateurs who order both stationary cellars where wine is stored and “entourage” storages that are open for visitors to the restaurant. And yet, the lion's share of profit, according to market players, comes today precisely from individuals.
One of the revenue items of companies specializing in equipment for wine storage is the supply of original accessories and all kinds of appliances. One way or another, this business is growing. No crises in this segment have yet been observed, and indeed it arose already after the country experienced the first, most brutal cataclysms of the transition period.
Any cellar is individual, therefore, communication with the customer, as in any other business related to the provision of services, begins with consultations.
Reconnaissance on the ground allows the specialist to understand whether the room for the cellar has been chosen correctly, whether there is a steam room or garage nearby (vibration and smells spoil expensive wines), and whether floors are laid.
And the most serious problem, as the masters say, is a project that someone started at the time, but did not finish. It is best to work on the order when the house is just being completed or architects are working on the rooms. In this case, the masters give customers their recommendations on what to consider in order to subsequently get a really good cellar.
The work begins with the fact that the engineers heat the premises, cover the floor and walls with special material and lay ventilation pipes. Then follows the installation of a climate system using air conditioners, in particular, Liebherr or Miele. Then the designers who design the shelving for wine enter the business. Well, then the carpenters assemble and install them. Finally, the designer can recommend the appropriate accessories to the owner of the future wine cellar.
On a circle, the cost of work and materials for a room of 10-14 square meters. m on average is from 2, 000 to 6, 000 dollars, and work on the equipment of the premises with a volume of 7.5 cubic meters can cost the client $ 4, 000. But this, of course, is the lower bound.
In country cottages, rooms up to 30 square meters are allocated for wine cellars. m And since the climate in our country is still unstable, most customers can be encouraged to purchase even underground climate systems.
The arrangement of such a cellar will cost the customer 10, 000-30, 000 dollars, and a collection can be stored in it, the initial price of which is no less than one hundred thousand dollars.
They do not talk about fixed profitability in this business. After all, every project, like any architectural solution, is individual. In addition, various payment schemes have developed here. For example, 10% of the cost of materials or a separate price list for work - depending on the initial condition of the room. And, in addition, the customer may ask to equip the cellar, for example, with wenge racks. And this is about 270 thousand dollars, not counting the climate support system.
The main thing is to explain to the client that the cellar is different. And a lot depends on how difficult the work is for the executing company. Before starting, it is necessary to carry out a calculation and develop technical conditions for the premises, and their good execution (in the case of a large order) is considered to be free of charge.
So, the minimum amount that builders of wine cellars may require from the client in the most elementary case is two thousand dollars. And the maximum is not limited.
Wall structures and designs, vaulted or straight ceilings, floors and shelving - all this, as a rule, is carried out in accordance with the tastes and wishes of the customer. But there are classic canons. For example, wooden racks made of elite types of wood: oak, beech, American sequoia.
A more sophisticated and, accordingly, profitable option for the contractor is limestone or forged structures. The fact is that such a cellar is often decorated with additional accessories, for example, buy furniture: stools, lamps, oak barrels. And since the supply of such equipment is likely to be ordered by the same company, this is a good way to increase the profitability of the business.
Many companies themselves are engaged in the production of equipment and open their workshops, hire carpenters, cabinet makers. Here, investments can range from 50 to 70 thousand dollars. But you can also use subcontracting, focusing on design know-how and the supply of accessories, turning over the “carpentry” to third-party companies. Meanwhile, the advantages of in-house production are the ability to control quality.
In the assortment of a company aimed at an audience of wine connoisseurs, as a rule, there are also wine racks. This is required by the laws of assortment construction, so it is recommended to have cabinets in at least a small amount. By the way, they perfectly complement the cellar itself, because the room can be divided into two zones - a storage and a tasting room. In the tasting zone, a more comfortable temperature is usually created so that the owner and his guests can sit there and savor the magical taste of an expensive drink.
The most common, a small case for 50 bottles from the French company Eurocave (recognized market leader) will cost no less than 5, 500 euros. And, of course, there are much more expensive models.
Wine racks are usually divided into two categories - mono-and multi-temperature.
In mono-temperature, a single temperature regime is maintained. They are perfectly suited for long-term storage and maturation of wines. In multi-temperature cabinets, you can set several zones, which allows you to simultaneously store different wines (white, red, etc.) and cool them immediately before serving. And here, companies specializing in arranging cellars also have a way to make money. Many standard cabinets do not fit into the interior of the restaurant. Or, for example, private clients want to add one or another “highlight”.
Today, participants in this market take on orders of any complexity and for any format. There are customers who place an order for the construction of a “turnkey” cellar when the company comes into operation at the stage of building a house. Filling the cellar is another item of income that can bring up to 10% of the total cost of the collection.
To open a company creating wine cellars, you need two main conditions. The key resource here is highly qualified specialists. For example, El Bodegon employs 10 office workers and another 10 in manufacturing. Most of them are engineers, there are sommeliers and cabinetmakers with higher education. The second, no less important condition is the professional qualification of the head of the company.
However, experts say that noticeable returns come primarily from advertising in specialized media dedicated to alcoholic beverages and wine collecting. Basically, these are educational articles about how to properly store a noble drink. It’s next to such publications that advertise companies engaged in arranging cellars, selling cabinets and accessories. No less effective resources are word of mouth and reference communications.
Based on an article by Ekaterina Chinarova published in the journal Business Journal
* The article is more than 8 years old. May contain outdated data