Officially it’s known as Berrys’ Hampshire Wine
Warehouse; to those who have been there it’s The Vault. Like a
vast repository for gold or banknotes, row upon row, layer upon layer of wooden
wine cases are piled from floor to ceiling, branded with the insignia of famous
estates and vintages: 2005 Lafite, 2000 Latour, 1959 Margaux, 1934
Yquem… the allure of it all is almost too much to bear.
This cavernous treasure trove is the state-of-the-art bonded wine
warehouse where Berrys keeps most of its stock, all maintained at optimum
temperature and humidity. A former paper warehouse, Berrys bought it in 2008
and converted it into one of the world’s most hi-tech wine
warehouses, capable of holding around 300,000 cases. (Take
a virtual tour of our wine warehouse).
Step in The Vault
On the outside it looks like any other warehouse; to the passer-by there is
nothing to suggest the fabulous riches that lie within. But inside it’s a
world apart. The first thing you notice, especially if you visit on a hot day,
is the chill.
The whole building is lined with an insulated inner wall like the lining of
a fridge, and fourteen giant fans keep the air carefully regulated within half
a degree of 12˚C. As you walk from one aisle to the next, the lights come
on automatically, and go off again minutes after you leave, keeping the heat
output from the bulbs to a minimum.
Bob has been a Cellar Plan member for ten years, and while he has amassed a
magnificent portfolio, it’s what he’s learnt about lesser-known
wines that really excites him. “It’s quite something," he enthuses.
"It's one thing to see your holdings on a piece of paper and imagine it all, or
see a photograph of it, knowing it's taken years to build up with so
For our Cellar Plan members, it is reassuring to know that their wine is
being so carefully looked after (Cellar Plan account holders enjoy £9.00
storage inc. VAT per case per annum instead of the regular £10.80).
“The Cellar Plan guys go to extraordinary efforts to educate people,
and it’s not always the really expensive stuff that they want to tell you
about,” Bob explains. “If you’re interested, they’re
always there to point you in the right direction.”
Read more about the Cellar
There are currently around 230,000 cases stored in The Vault, all guarded by
a state-of-the-art security system, permanently in touch with warehouse
managers Gary and Jason. If you pay a visit to The Vault, make sure you ask
them for a ride on the truck that is used to load and unload the racks. This is
a fork-lift for the space age. It steers an unerring course down the narrow
aisles by following a wire embedded in the concrete floor. As it flies along,
the driver platform raises and before you know it you’re 40 feet up in
the air looking down on an oenophile’s dream. “Have I been on the
truck? Sure I have!” exclaims Bob. “You have to have a go on the
truck. It’s fantastic, like being a child in a sweetshop.”
And of course, up high is where the very best cases are stored, safe and
sound, just waiting for the call to come down!
||Receive a FREE case of Bordeaux Cru
when you start a Cellar Plan
to get your collection under way.
The value of your free case will be roughly equal to one month’s payment,
so the more you choose to pay into your Plan, the higher the value of your free
See all the free cases ,
as well as information about the Cellar Plan and the myriad of benefits available to Plan
Call the Cellar Plan team on 01256 340123