Friday, May 13, 2016

What Are Wine Crate Panels?

Wine panels are the sides of original wooden wine crates and boxes. Once removed they become like wood tiles that can be used to cover table-tops, drawer fronts, walls, ceiling and even floors.

The artwork on a wine panel is it's most appealing feature. Some are engraved with pictures of historical events and artifacts that date back thousands of years. Others have highly detailed pictures of the winery's chateau and vineyards. Many wine panels represent the first kinds of advertisements originating from the Roman empire.

Nowadays most wine is shipped in cardboard boxes. Only the best wines are packaged in wooden wine crates. This means that wine panels are rare and becoming harder to acquire everyday.

Every panel is one of a kind. None are the same because each has a different wood grain color. Some are lighter or darker than others; and there's an unlimited amount of shades in-between. Plus there's hundreds of different wineries that make them, so any wine panel project you do is going to be a work of art and entirely unique.

There's many different panel styles to choose from as well. You've got old world ones from France and Italy as well as the New World wine panels from Napa Valley, Spain and Australia. Most come from the old world, but there's several cult wineries in the US looking to distinguish themselves. Unfortunately these wineries have minuscule productions and only make wooden wine boxes and crates for specific vintages or releases. The designs they create for these productions are often stunning and exceptionally detailed. one of my favorites is below:

Harlan Estate "The Maiden"

The Maiden is a great example of a New World design. It's an engraved picture of a Roman Goddess picking grapes from the Tree of Life. Generally your not going to find this kind of artwork on old world crates but there are some exceptions. My favorite old world design is from Bouchard Pere & Fils:

Bouchard Pere & Fils

A very common misconception is that every wine panel is the exact same size. This is not the case as there's many different sizes of wine crates and boxes. The Maiden for example came from a 3 bottle case and the Bouchard came from a 12 bottle crate. Wine panels often vary in size by several inches and can also vary in thickness.

Depending on the project your planning on doing the size variation may present a challenge. Adding panels to the floor would require the panels to be the exact same thickness as well as be finished with a lacquer. This would also be the case for a table-top. When it comes to walls or ceilings you'll have a lot more leverage with panels that are different sizes.

Average size of a wine panel: 12" L X 6" H

How many panels do I need for my project? That depends on how many square feet your looking to cover. On average, 2 panels covers 1 square foot.

How do I install them? You'll want a notched trawl (The tool used to spread grout on ceramic tiles) and liquid nails in a can (Instead of grout). Evenly spread the liquid nails across the back of each panel and place them on the surface.

The types of projects and d├ęcor enhancements aren't limited to walls, floors and tables either. You can cover a bar like below:

Or make artwork like this lovely piece:

You can add wine panels to just about any surface and they're lots of fun to work with! Buy some for your own unique wine-themed project at Wine Crates and Boxes



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