By John Grainger, Property editor
Tell people you have a cellar in your house and they’ll likely feign interest politely, but tell them you have a wine cellar and they’ll almost certainly be rather envious.
Not simply alcohol stockpiles, wine cellars show a love of, and appreciation for, the fruit of the vintner’s labours.
There is, of course, a science and an art to making wine. Slight variations in sun, soil, rainfall and altitude can result in nuances of nose and finish that can keep wine-buffs amused for, well, a lifetime.
In the northern hemisphere, the grape harvest is now in full swing, but producers this year are forecasting small crops. France is expecting its lowest yields since 1991, and Italy is preparing for its second smallest wine grape harvest since 1950. Similar stories are coming out of Greece, Spain and Portugal.
However, the good news is that these lower quantities may be offset by higher quality, with more intense flavour and higher alcohol content, holding out the possibility that this year’s vintage may be both good and rare – which also means expensive...
If you feel an investment coming on and you fancy laying down a few cases of claret, you’ll need somewhere to put them. The following four properties all have wine cellars and are all currently for sale in our area.
Wharfeside (above, main pic) is a substantial late-Victorian semi-detached house which has retained many of its original features.
Located on the Harewood side of Collingham, the tall, brick-built house has five bedrooms, easily mainatained gardens and off-street parking.
It also has a full-size lower-ground floor with a utility room, workshop, storage space and, of course, a wine cellar.
In Harrogate, Brockton (above left) is a large period house in a prime south-side location.
It is currently split into three flats, but is being sold as a single property; removing some of the internal walls could turn it into a roomy eight-bed family home at minimal expense.
The lowest level is said to be not quite full-height, and “would make an excellent wine cellar”.
South View (above) is a large and extended stone-built family house in Beckwithshaw.
It is surrounded by landscaped gardens and if you like pergolas, paddocks, ha-has, duck-ponds, summerhouses and conservatories – and who doesn’t? – then this could be your ideal home.
At one end of the house, there is a four-car garage block, garden room and substantial hobby room. There’s also a stable, gardener’s WC and useful store, and there is planning permission to develop this space.
At the other end, there is an extensive larder and an adjoining laundry room with large storage room/wine cellar.
Finally, plot 3 at Fulwith Mill (above) is one of the last remaining properties for sale in a luxury development on one of Harrogate’s most exclusive roads.
The six-bedroom house has yet to be completed, so the purchaser will have the chance to be involved in its design from a very early stage.
That means you could include almost anything in the build, such as a lower-ground floor swimming pool complex, a cinema room, gymnasium or, quite possibly, the district’s biggest and best wine cellar.