Offsite Wine Storage

Hello all. I wanted some advices from the experts (and even novices out there). I have quite a bit of wine, from all over the world and have run out of space in my Toronto Condo. But I'm not about to stop collecting Big Grin

What should I be looking for in an off site storage company? What makes one better than another? And if there is anyone in the Toronto area that has used one, who would you recommend/avoid.

If anyone has any general advice about storage, I'd love to hear it. Thanks everyone!

Larry
Original Post
Requirements:
1. Steady 55+/-F degree temperature required with preferably 40% plus humidity although not required.

A few things to look for IMO:
1. Secure lockers where you have the key/code.
2. Security system, preferably monitored.
3. Good lighting.
4. 24 hour access if at all possible. If not, some weekday evening and all day Saturday at a minimum.
5. If the temperature deviates by a specified amount somebody should be automatically notified so that it can be quickly corrected.
6. Backup generator if the electricity is out for a specified period of time.

Last thing to look for:
1. Competitive pricing.
I would stress the need for 7 days a week access. You never know when you want that special bottle. Although, because I keep very little of my wine at home, this may not be as big a deal for you as for me.

This may seem like given, but look for a facility staffed with quality people. I didn't think much about when I started at my facility, but great their customer service abruptly ended when ownership changed hands. In fact, I will probably leave them at the end of the year for this reason.
quote:
Originally posted by Serge Birbrair:
..and while we are on topic,
can anybody reccomend the off site storage in South Florida?


I was driving down Calle Ocho the other day and noticed a HUGE building near Calle Ocho and about 6th... about 4 stories high - it said Wine Storage or International Wine Storage ...
re : ABC -
1) do they have back up generator
2) insurance in case the wine gets spoiled there due to unforseen events
3) $80 a year is dirt cheap for all of the above
I have ABC 2 blocks from me, they have "temperature controlled" celler for their upper wines, but I haven't seen customers storage there. I'll ask tomorrow and get more details about the one in Fort Lauderdale (I live in Boca)

re Calle Ocho.
what is the nearest town?
How can you live in South Florida and not know what Calle Ocho is??? Razz

Serge, try The Store Room. They have special wine storage facilities at some of their buildings. The only downside is that they don't have individually locking areas. You rent a rack and store your boxes on the rack. However, every box that goes in and comes out gets a computer tracking code, so no one can take a box from your rack and just waltz out. And a staff member goes in the wine room with you, just to keep an eye on things.

They got computer monitoring and a backup generator with 3 days supply of fuel. When Hurricane Jeanne hit last year, the generator kept everything cold until the power came back up.

I use The Store Room for my prize bottles, and I use ABC for other bottles. ABC is a lot cheaper, but there isn't any backup generator (at least not at the ABC where I store my wine).
quote:
Originally posted by Rothko:
How can you live in South Florida and not know what Calle Ocho is??? Razz


I am more familiar with Ocho Rios Smile

quote:

Serge, try The Store Room. They have special wine storage facilities at some of their buildings. The only downside is that they don't have individually locking areas. You rent a rack and store your boxes on the rack. However, every box that goes in and comes out gets a computer tracking code, so no one can take a box from your rack and just waltz out. And a staff member goes in the wine room with you, just to keep an eye on things.

They got computer monitoring and a backup generator with 3 days supply of fuel. When Hurricane Jeanne hit last year, the generator kept everything cold until the power came back up.

I use The Store Room for my prize bottles, and I use ABC for other bottles. ABC is a lot cheaper, but there isn't any backup generator (at least not at the ABC where I store my wine).


What city The Store Room is located? Do they have website? I keep aprox 200 at home @ 55F in fridges equiped with Wine Stat but those hurricaines make me re-think the whole strategy.

My ABC is not big help either...
Larry,

I use a place called Urban Cellars Best prices in town, as far as I know. Their accessibility is not the greatest, though they pick-up for free and deliver for a charge. Let me know if you want more details.

There are a few other in town but I don't remember the names or URL's. You should be able to find them with a few google searches if you haven't already.
Thanks Cubzac,

I asked around and few people told me that Urban Cellars uses a large AC unit in a rented out locker. Is that true?

From your experience, are you happy with them? How much do they charge to delivery your wine? Can I pick it up 24X7?

i found 2 others in town. Iron Gate Cellarage came very well recommended.
Hi Larry, I saw your post and because I own Iron Gate Cellarage I thought I should reply. Big Grin

Glad to hear we're recommended but let me answer your question. When we were putting the company together we went through this thought process assuming our customers would do the same. Perfect stable temperature at 55 is a given and a reasonable humidity level is also required (although the extent is a constant source of debate among professionals). Security is of utmost importance which is why we chose to convert a portion of a facility that has had no security breaches and perfect temperature for 55 years. The owners of the vault we lease and have converted have had the business in the family since 1912 and are part owners of Iron Gate so it's a stable company. That's really imprtant and often overlooked. How would you like to get a call saying that the company went under and you have to move all your wine by Saturday?

All that stuff aside, my clients are all about service so that's what we strive for. White glove and extra attention. Feel free to call me and if we suit your needs I'll give you a great price commensurate with the product. We're on the web at http://www.IronGateWine.com. Cheers, Warren
Larry,

My understanding is that they re-fit some space in a fur coat storage facility (they're located in the Spadina area). They're a pretty no frills operation with low overhead expenses, which is my preference. They claim to maintain 55 degrees & 50% humidity.

You can get more details from their web-site, or just give them a call.

I'm pretty happy with them but to be honest I'm a pretty low maintenance client -- I only store stuff there I know I won't drink for a couple years, so only need to pull stuff maybe once or twice a year. I'll probably stick with them for another year or two until getting more storage space at my own place (likely a vintage keeper).

One thing that does scare me is a power outage; I'm not sure what kind of backup is available, and you should probably ask about that as you shop around.

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