Forget pools and cinemas – artful wine cellars are the latest must for yacht owners

“Many owners today want to make selecting and pouring the wine part of the whole superyacht experience,” a top designer notes

When forced to choose between a wine cellar and a butler’s pantry, most yacht owners are likely to give the linen the heave-ho. At least, that’s what the owner of the 164-foot Endless Summer did when looking to honour his passion for fine wines. The custom teak cellar was incorporated into the interior design before construction on the yacht even began.

“The intention was always for the cellar to be a focal point, given its location at the top of the stairwell to the bridge deck. It’s most certainly on show,” captain Tony Hodgson tells Robb Report.

Concealed lighting illuminates labels collected from vineyards around the world. As collections grow in size and status, the line between functional storage and sculptural design is blurring.

It’s a burgeoning trend among yacht manufacturers.

“Many owners today want to make selecting and pouring the wine part of the whole superyacht experience,” says Marc Jessing, head of yacht interiors at Lürssen. “When an owner sacrifices space onboard for something to drink, they want to give that wine a huge amount of attention.”

Inventive solutions include integrated display units that can be pulled forward and upward into the more decorated areas of the boat.

Endless Summer Yacht
The custom teak wine cellar aboard the Endless Summer yacht

Aboard Endless Summer, an air-conditioning expansion unit serves as a back-up should the main HVAC system shut down. Neoprene-lined shelves sit at an angle to keep the corks moist and the bottles secure when underway.

But it’s not all about the mechanics. Canada-based CellArt’s custom-designed nautical wine cellars are more akin to original artwork, with deep navy-blue lacquer casings and golden metallic inserts.

“The price point is always increasing,” Jonathan Primeau of CellArt tells Robb Report. “When we started, it was about US$2 (S$2.70) per bottle space, but now it’s averaging US$$2,500 (S$3,370).”

Each CellArt concept monitors up to 13 different elements, from noise and vibration to humidity and light, but clients are primarily concerned with aesthetics.

“My approach to art storage is to flip it on its head,” says Primeau. “We commission artists to produce bespoke works of art that need to be accommodated onboard.”

This story was first published on Robb Report USA