Wine Storage Expert Creates Floor-to-ceiling Glass Tower for Upscale Steakhouse

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Jost Lunstroth with Vineyard Wine Cellars is offering up creative and eye-catching ideas in wine storage features to area restaurants, a unique touch he believes will give dining establishments an edge. Vineyard Wine Cellars specializes in climate-controlled wine storage and wine collector services.

A fine wine is often the perfect culinary compliment to a sumptuous meal, a satisfying finish to a fine dining experience. But when Jost Lunstroth thinks wine, it's all about the presentation.

To that end, Lunstroth, of Vineyard Wine Cellars, is offering up creative and eye-catching ideas in wine storage features to area restaurants, a unique touch he believes will give dining establishments an edge. Vineyard Wine Cellars specializes in climate-controlled wine storage and wine collector services.

His first work in the restaurant industry was with Perry's Steakhouse & Grille in Memorial City where he created a nearly 15-foot, glass-enclosed wine tower which stretches from floor to ceiling and is boldly featured in the center of the dining room. The tower utilizes multiple 10-foot ladders for managers to retrieve the wine bottles.

"Perry's makes the wine tower a focal point," Lunstroth said. "They really use the wine storage as a visual feature, not just a place to store wine. It shows a very tasteful eye for decorating and creating an experience. Perry's is jazzing it up."

Howard Cortes, general manager of the Memorial City Perry's, said the tower is a conversation piece. "It's unexpected, and it really brings the dining room to life," said Cortes.

Lunstroth said the tower's form-meets-function element is key to turning a necessary part of fine dining-wine storage into a beautiful display that creates an elegant ambiance for a restaurant and may even tempt more patrons to partake of a red or white with their meal.

"Displaying wine helps to sell the wine," he said. "People might say, 'I heard about your wine tower' and they'll come in and see it and say, 'Wow, look at that. Let's take a look at their wine list.'"

Cortes said the tower definitely draws customers' attention to Perry's wine selection.

"I think it contributes to the wine sales," he said.

However, Lunstroth knows to create that type of impression his work has to be spectacular. To fit the bill, he spent more than a month in building the tower and in creative consultation with Chris Perry, owner and chief executive officer of Perry's Restaurant Group, and Rick Henderson, director of operations. "Chris had a very clear vision of what he wanted," said Lunstroth. "The three of us worked closely together to refine the vision and then my team and I executed it."

The finished product, Lunstroth said, contains four elements: a refrigerated room with individual lockers for customers to store their wine; the glass-enclosed wine tower; two refrigerated boxes for storing wine; and a wall of different sized boxes stacked together which reach from about counter height to the ceiling.

All of the refrigeration elements are stylized to create a visually stunning display, Lunstroth said. "The two refrigerated boxes for wine storage had to be very attractive so we made them out of hard wood, no metal," he said. "The temperature inside had to be kept between 45 and 55 degrees without any condensation on the glass or other moisture related problems, so it was technically difficult to do."

The stacked boxes, which hold wine bottles strictly for show, were also used to full aesthetic effect. "They're back lit and the majority of the bottles are lit with custom lighting," Lunstroth said. "It's a really beautiful art statement."

Now that he's completed his work at Perry's, Lunstroth said he's eager to design other wine storage features for other dining establishments. Lunstroth said there are several ways to display wine in a way that ensures both form and function are addressed, including using a wine wall as a divider between different sections or parts of a restaurant.

Lunstroth continued, "I think restaurants more and more are going to see the potential for how this is going to help their business."

About Vineyard Wine Cellars

Based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Vineyard Wine Cellars specializes in designing and building climate-controlled wine rooms. The company's expert design and installation teams cover all of the state Texas and other parts of the country. Vineyard Wine Cellars is the only authorized dealer in Texas for Wine Cellar Innovations and eSommelier. For more information, visit http://www.vineyardwinecellars.com.

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