Hollow Tree Self Storage in Darien, Connecticut, held a grand-opening event on Oct. 22 to celebrate the addition of wine storage to its facility at 131 Hollow Tree Ridge Road. The company added 5,000 square feet of underground storage space, offering 88 units ranging from 14 to 1,300 cubic feet. The vault has the capacity to house up to 188 units, according to a source.
The expansion was the idea of John Hertz, one of four owners who also previously built private wine cellars for homeowners. Hertz wanted to capitalize on unmet demand and meet the needs of collectors as well as local distributors. The smallest wine unit stores about 150 bottles, while the largest can hold up to 5,600, a source reported.
“What research we did found that many of these facilities were full, so there is a need for them,” Hertz said. “There [are] none that we know of in Fairfield County, or certainly within our rental rate.”
The subterranean space is free from UV light and kept at 55 degrees and 75 percent humidity, with a backup, gas-powered generator in case of emergency. Units were designed with wood doors for a natural look, and steel racks are available to store wine bottles horizontally.
Customers also have use of a conference room to host private wine tastings or meetings. Hollow Tree intends to use the space to host community events as well as offer it to nonprofits at no charge, according to a source.
Tenants will have access to their collections 365 days per year, and the facility will also accept wine deliveries on their behalf.
The wine vault was designed in partnership with consultant Bruce Nichols, owner of The Wine Store in Naples, Florida, who specializes in wine storage and cellar management, a source reported.
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