Blacksmiths craft paradise for wine

Not far from Denmark’s northernmost tip, happiness lies beneath the floorboards. If you’re a wine lover, that is. Here, two brothers design and manufacture fully welded wine cellars with glass covers that can be lowered into the floor in any type of residence. The company is called Vinorage and caters to the domestic as well as international market.

Fully welded wine cellars

When storing wine, you need to be careful. It takes special conditions to ensure a wine produces the intended taste. Just what these conditions are has been a topic of conversation for millennia. By taking this ancient knowledge into account, two metal craftsmen from North Jutland have succeeded in taking inspiration from sacred wine halls and rethinking wine storage from the bottom up. For what do you do when you live in a large, but quite ordinary, detached house in a small Danish town in North Jutland, far from French châteaux and cavernous underground cellars?

A large detached house from the ‘80s

In 2013, welder Rasmus Glindvad bought his parents’ old detached house in North Jutland. The ‘80s had left their mark on the house. A new kitchen was installed and, like so many others, Rasmus dreamed of a wine cellar. But unfortunately, there wasn’t enough space. “After the renovation, I was obsessed by the idea. I looked at a future playroom and thought to myself: could it go here? But I was only thinking on the surface,” Rasmus says. He asked his older brother for advice and together they came up with an idea that marked a turning point for the two metal workers.

Inspired by old crawl spaces

“We could put something into the floor,” one brother told the other, and soon all their spare time was spent sketching, cutting, and welding. “We talked to our grandparents about the features of the old crawl spaces. They had always worked for storing food, after all. We could use the earth’s temperature to cool the wine without the use of electricity. Just like in the old days,” Rene explains.

All their wine cellars are fully welded, 100 percent waterproof, and able to maintain a temperature around 12C in the winter and 16C in the summer. The cellars also feature a ventilation system and built-in lighting.

Blood, sweat, and tears over the years

Back in the detached house, Rasmus’s wife agreed to the brothers’ crazy idea. “We simply cut up the brand new floor and installed a fully welded wine cellar with a glass lid and dimmable lights,” Rasmus recalls. His enthusiasm is palpable. The brothers are both trained metal workers. Rasmus followed in his brother’s footsteps after several years as a sweeper in a workshop. Today, the same workshop gives the brothers a helping hand when there are too many orders, which happens regularly.

Entrepreneurs of the year

The largest wine cellar has space for 1,500 bottles, and the smallest 140 bottles. And now the brothers are working on an app to help wine lovers manage their stock. In 2018, their ingenuity was rewarded with the “Entrepreneurs of the Year” award in Jammerbugt municipality. At that time, the brothers had only worked full time on their wine cellars for one year. “We wanted to take a belt and braces approach, but ultimately there were no more hours in the day. We worked every weekend. We couldn’t keep up. We just had to take the plunge,” says Rene.

The craftsmanship must be visible

“There’s craftsmanship in the details and making things look nice. Our welds are visible. People like that. You should be able to see it’s made here in Denmark, and that requires practice and focus,” Rasmus says.

They perform the metal work themselves and get help with the rest. “If you’re doing it alone, you’re also 100 percent responsible for any failure. It’s better to be successful together,” Rasmus Glindvad says.

Text: Sarah Sol Rasmusen
Photos: Vinorage