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Selling cellars

The Promenade Room, produced by Savanté Wine Cellars.

The Promenade Room, produced by Savanté Wine Cellars.

Thanks to his customers’ appreciation for fine wine, Darryl Hogeback of Denver is thriving with his custom wine cellar business, Savanté Wine Cellars.

Hogeback, who’s been focused on woodworking since high school, founded the company 15 years ago while running an architectural millwork firm.

“We were doing all of the cabinetry and millwork for a house in Aspen and they had a wine cellar in the design and asked if we wanted to do that to. I said yes and took a design I did in 1980 for a piece of furniture and incorporated that into the design of the wine cellar. It’s a little different than what’s regularly out there, the redwood ladder style,” says Hogeback.

“Since then, that became the primary focus. I do furniture, millwork and cabinetry here and there. I really felt there was a need for a higher quality product for the expensive homes.” Prior to that, homeowners were either purchasing redwood racks online or hiring someone to install a redwood ladder-style design, according to Hogeback.

“Ours is more of a horizontal system with dowel rods to support the bottles so it creates a more open look and allows for more air flow,” he says.

Hogeback and his three employees have two to three jobs in the pipeline at any given time. They primarily use reclaimed white oak, a natural fit for its moisture and decay resistant properties. Acrylics and metals are also used.

Savanté has completed 150 wine cellars for small closets to enormous rooms that can hold thousands of bottles. Most are in Colorado homes in Aspen, Telluride and Vail.A few projects stand out, including the award-winning Clark Room. “It’s full of intricate curves that required a lot of steam bending,” explains Hogeback. “There is a carousel with 24 bottles on display and each layer rotates around. It’s a patented design. We also incorporated the inside of wine barrel heads for the countertop which is a beautiful purple from the cabernets in specific barrels. It held 3,000 bottles.”

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This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue.

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