Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Front Side Vs. Long Side Branded Wine Crates

If your familiar with wine crates and have seen the many kinds out there, you've probably noticed that some have artwork/design brandings on different sides. If they're large wine crates the artwork is either on the front short-side or on the long-side.

Front-side branded crates:
  • Branded on the front 13" side
  • Larger selection of vineyards to choose from
  • Almost always from Bordeaux
  • Generally the exact same size

Long-side branded crates:
  • Branded on the long 20" side
  • Smaller selection to choose from
  • Mostly from regions outside of Bordeaux as well as other countries such as the US, Chile, Argentina and Australia
  • Can vary in size by as much as 1" - 6" in length and width depending on the preferences of the winery that made them.

The vast majority of large wine crates are branded on the front 13" side.

Short-side crates can be displayed in wine rooms and cellars that have cubby holes which are at least 13 1/2" W like this project:

Most wine rack makers realized that their clients buy full cases of wine which include the wooden wine crate. This means they'll design racks to include either cubby holes, or a racking system which allows the crates to be stored and displayed. It's very important that you measure out the cubbies or shelf before buying your wine crates.

Front-side crate size: 19 1/2" L X 13" W X 7" H

Long-side crate size: 20" L X 12 3/4" X 7" H (Average - Can vary)

The above are outside dimensions.

Only select French vineyards make long-side branded crates, and they usually hail from regions outside of Bordeaux such as: Rhone, Sauternes or Burgundy. A handful do however come from Bordeaux, but they're fewer and far between. Other countries make them as well but it's uncommon. This makes your choices of long-side brandings somewhat limited. There's a much larger selection of short-side branded than there are long-side.

Long-side branded crates are branded on the 20 1/2" side making them ideal for shelving like this:

Since long-side branded wine crates are larger, you'll want to make sure they'll fit in your rack. If you purchase from us you'll want to let us know that the crates can't exceed a certain size. This is possible, but it may take us more time to process your order. This is especially the case if you want crates from all different vineyards.

Feel free to give me a call or e-mail to discuss about your project. It's much easier to manage a short-side branded wine crate order, but the long-side crates make for a very interesting project!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chateau Petrus Wooden Wine Box

Considered the "6th Growth" of Bordeaux, Chateau Petrus is the world's most well-known vineyard. An off-vintage bottle can cost thousands of dollars, and a good vintage is virtually unavailable to anyone except wine investors who purchased the reserved futures years before.

The wine box itself is a work of art. It's made of pure Bordeaux wood and has the iconic Petrus logo engraved deeply onto the front side.

Depending on the vintage and importer there may be other sides that are engraved as well. The front side has the highly detailed design that hasn't changed in nearly a century.

The logo was invented by the owner Madame Loubat in the 1940's. It was inspired by her appreciation of St. Peter who "Who holds the keys to Heaven".

You'd buy a Petrus wooden wine box because you have a complete collection of 6 bottles from the same vintage. When you buy bottles one at a time they don't include the wooden box. Because of the price of a full case of Petrus most people would opt to put a down payment on a house instead! Due to the market demand of the wine however, acquiring just about any authentic bottle is most likely a wise investment if stored properly.
Once you have all 6 bottles the reasons you'd want to buy the original wine box:
    • To preserve the bottles in perfect form and protect them from breakage. Wine cellars are usually lit, and mixing light with wine is generally a bad idea. The Petrus wooden wine box will always keep the bottles in full darkness.
    • Selling at auction. Petrus wine complete with it's original wine crate (OWC) increases profits by 10-15%
    • Finishing the collection. Many customers purchase one bottle at a time, so when they get all 6 they want the original box.
      If your not ready to take the plunge into wine investing and your simply looking for a unique accent to your wine room, bar or cellar; The Petrus wine box is an ideal solution. It can be a table centerpiece or displayed on a shelf to fill an empty spot. Even if your friends aren't wine enthusiasts you'll still receive compliments on how nice it looks. If they're fond of exceptional Bordeaux wines however, they know how rare it is and you may get a few offers for it!


      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