Wine Buzz: Affordable storage for your wines

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3D

In terms of naming, the new wine-storage facility called Caverna Fifty-Seven makes perfect sense.

For starters, these lockers are tucked into a building near "antique row" on 57th Street in east Sacramento, and a temperature of 57 to 58 degrees is considered ideal for storing wine.

The final construction touches at Caverna Fifty-Seven are under way, and once all of its storage lockers are installed the facility will have space for more than 3,400 cases of wine.

The prices are competitive, too. A 10-case wine locker will cost $39 a month, $59 for a 16-case space. Compare that with $100 a month for an eight- to 15-case space, or $150 for 16 cases or more, at midtown's 58 Degrees and Holding Co.

Jeff Boucher runs Caverna Fifty-Seven, but his background is in commercial real estate, not playing sommelier or making wine. The facility also hosts office suites, which are occupied primarily by real estate colleagues. An event space at Caverna Fifty-Seven can accommodate 40 people on its patio, and up to 100 for larger gatherings.

The 3,600-square-foot building looks something like a house in the Mediterranean, and it has served as a live/work space and offsite storage for boats and RVs. The remodeling started about 14 months ago.

"I tried to maximize the basement space, and that sparked the idea of wine storage," Boucher said. "I wanted a creative way to utilize the space and give the wine community what it needs."

Wine-storage facilities such as Caverna Fifty-Seven serve those who have outgrown room at home or who don't have space to add a wine-refrigeration unit. While most wine is consumed in the short term, storage lockers are good for those who want to lay down bottles for a while, like those 2005 Bordeauxs that are still babies.

Boucher also gears his vaults toward those who auction wine. He hopes to create a certification system to prove that wine was stored properly, always a key concern. It sometimes helps set the price.

In case of a power outage, Caverna Fifty-Seven has a generator to keep its wine cellar at a consistently cool temperature. Getting into the building also requires an electronic key card.

Want to contact Caverna Fifty-Seven? Call (916) 737-5757 or visit www.caverna57.com.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Chris Macias



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