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Preserving great wines in a natural stone cellar

Preserving great wines in a natural stone cellar

Nicolas Porquez is the founder of "Cave et prestige", a company specializing in the installation of natural stone cellars. A must for wine conservation. Interview by Nadège Monschau

What are the advantages of a natural stone cellar?

Stone is the best material for storing bottles. In comparison, iron is likely to rust and vibrate, while wood, unless specifically treated, risks mold and rot with moisture. To preserve all its aromas, a wine needs stability. Any variation, for example in temperature, is its worst enemy. Very heavy (20 kilos) and very dense, the rocky blocks make it possible to avoid any oscillation of the structure and to ensure a thermal regulation, by generating a kind of "microclimate" inside the lockers. In addition, this system has an undeniable aesthetic quality: it fits harmoniously into any buried cellar, especially in vaulted spaces (but much less in garages!). You can also reinforce this decorative side by using beds of fine sand to wedge your bottles and small slate labels to locate yourself in the shelves.

Why prefer natural stone to reconstituted stone?

Reconstituted stone, based on cement or other aggregates, alloys and dyes, is certainly less expensive, but less effective and less ecological. And since the lockers are mass produced, it can be more difficult to make a cellar that optimizes the space available. The ideal: tailor the blocks to juggle between racks of 12, 18 or 24 bottles, and adjust the height (up to 2.20 meters) and the width of the shelves as desired. Is the pose complex?

Not at all. Just stack trays and columns like legos.

Is this type of cellar much more expensive to install than conventional iron or wood? Of course. A natural stone cellar is a high-end product. It takes on average between 400 and 500 euros for a structure of one hundred bottles (4 to 5 euros per bottle). But connoisseurs will note that a wine fridge or solid oak shelves are even more expensive: between 7 and 8 euros per bottle. More info on: www.cavekheops.com