Texas Hill Country Wine Cave by Clayton Korte

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Project: Texas Hill Country Wine Cave
Architecture and Interior Design: Clayton Korte
Clayton Korte Team: Brian Korte, FAIA, Partner; Camden Greenlee, Brandon Tharp
Structural Engineer: SSG Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Intelligent Engineering Services
Lighting Design: Studio Lumina
Mechanical Engineer: Positive Energy
Concrete subcontractor: Dash Concrete
Specialty steel fabrication: Fasone and Associates
Art metalwork: Cactus Max Fine Metal Artwork
Contractor: Monday Builders
Location: Texas Hill Country, Texas
Photography by Casey Dunn

Awards
2021 Residential Design Architecture Awards, Honor Award
2021 Luxe RED Awards National, Wow Factor Room
2020 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards, Interior – Residential
2020 AIA San Antonio, Merit Award

Located at the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country, this private wine cave serves as a destination along a secluded bend of the Blanco River. Excavated into the north face of a solid limestone hillside, this shotcrete lined tube is protected on the east and west by tall oak and elm trees, allowing it to nearly disappear within the native landscape. The unassuming exterior entry court reveals a bit of mystery as it provides just a glimpse of what lies within. Heavy limestone boulders, collected from the excavation, and lush vegetation further camouflage the entry as you descend into the mouth of the cave.

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

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A tasting lounge, bar, wine cellar, and restroom are all tucked into an 18’ tall x 70’ deep existing tunnel. The exterior opening of the wine cave is capped with a board-formed concrete portal that molds to the irregular surfaces of the limestone and structurally retains the mouth of the earth cut. The concrete is meant to patina naturally over time as native moss and ivy clings to the face and climbs onto the flanking limestone walls to further blend the headwall into its surroundings.

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Once inside, a study of white oak, both raw and ebonized, mixes with vertical grain Douglas fir to panel the walls and dropped ceilings as a warm contrast to more rugged concrete and stone that surrounds. Custom insulated and thermally broken steel and wood windows provide separation between the interior and exterior, as well as the entertaining lounge and the chilled cellar. Reclaimed cedar was salvaged and milled for live-edged countertop surfaces for the tasting bar and the floating restroom vanity. “It’s like a ship in a bottle,” notes Brian Korte, FAIA, lead architect for the project. “The components of the wood insert are deliberately kept away from the existing cave walls so that the room remains adaptable.”

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Sitting under the fully arched profile at the back of the cave, the private cellar is surrounded by casework providing storage for an ever-expanding private collection of +/-4,000 bottles. This space is thermally controlled by the naturally colder subterranean temperatures with supplemental cooling to help maintain an optimal atmosphere of 55-60 degrees.

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Materials/Products
Primary exterior material: board-formed concrete
Primary exterior doors: custom, wood-clad doors
Primary exterior door hardware: Rocky Mountain Hardware
Secondary exterior door hardware: Deltana, Rixson, Simonswerk, Saint Louis Design, Dorma
Light fixtures: BK Lighting, Sistemalux, Tech Lighting, RAB, Lumimii, WAC, Ecosense, 3G, Lightcraft
Custom-designed pendant light (cellar): Clayton Korte
Appliances: Miele, Sub Zero, Perlick, Wolf
Plumbing fixtures: Toto, Vigo, Kohler, Watermark

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

Clayton Korte Designs Texas Hill Country Wine Cave, Texas, USA

plan section

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