Once a person's wine collection reaches a certain size, storage becomes an issue. After all, a normal sized house can accommodate only so many refrigerators or racks. Houston's oenophiles have a number of offsite storage facilities to help with this problem, but a newcomer wants to raise the bar in terms of luxury and refinement.
Vault & Vino aims to be more than just a properly refrigerated wine locker. Its owners present the facility as a members-only club for people who are very passionate about what they drink. Located in the heart of Montrose (2505 Mason St.), the facility offers both places to store wine and places to drink it.
"People want to get out of their houses and have a place to socialize," co-owner Andrew Murland tells CultureMap. "I think of it as a wine country club. It’s a place to have a before dinner drink, an after dinner drink, or entertain your friends outside of your house."
Vault & Vino meets these different needs with lockers of various sizes. Store as little as two cases onsite for $100 per month or rent a locker that holds 100 cases for $550 per month. Either way, customers get 24-7 access to the facility via an app on their smartphones. Two backup generators (one diesel, one natural gas) ensure that wines are always stored at a proper 55 degrees. Since Murland's family owns the building, they have plenty of room to expand if people are interested.
From Murland's perspective, Vault & Vino's lounge areas allow it to stand out from other storage facilities. Members have access to two different rooms for events as well as lounges of various sizes for hanging out and sipping their favorite vintages. In addition, Vault & Vino provides varietal-specific Riedel glassware. White glove services — such as receiving shipments, inventory management, and pulling bottles prior to a customer's arrival — are available for additional fees.
"The customer base is really mixed," Murland notes. "There are people from our generation who are new to wine collecting and may only have a small wine refrigerator at their house all the way up to people who are buying futures for wine."
For now, Vault & Vino is also accepting a limited number of private events for non-members. People who are interested in renting part of the facility for a dinner, tasting, or other occasion may inquire via the facility's website.