Whoever said there can be too much of a good thing surely needed to consider one exception: the wine cellar.
Some of the world’s newest and most historic properties boast impressive cellars that are outdone only by the wines themselves, like 2000 Pétrus and 1845 Château Gruaud Larose.
The only thing as good as being able to choose from these immense inventories, of course, is the chance to see them firsthand. Luckily, these venues showcase their best. From a $10 million spectacle in Wyoming to a subterranean city in Moldova, here are some of the globe’s most groundbreaking wine collections worthy of a visit.
Milestii Mici: 2,000,000 bottles
Founded in 1969, this Moldovan producer celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, further heightened by its epic wine collection, recognized in 2005 by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest cellar by number of bottles. A cellar this size needs room to breathe. Visitors explore the 34-mile gallery via car, organized by “streets” named for each wine.
Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo: 350,000 bottles
Inspired by the grand cellars of Bordeaux, this space was built in 1874 behind Monte Carlo’s famed Hôtel de Paris. Once completed, the cellar’s combined surface area reached more than 16,000 square feet. Guests can taste through the selection at either the onsite, Michelin-starred restaurants, or a private dining experience in the cellars. Monaco’s Prince Rainier and Princess Grace celebrated their 20th anniversary there.
Bern’s Steakhouse: 750,000 bottles
Bern’s Steakhouse, a member of Wine Enthusiast‘s Restaurant Hall of Fame, opened in 1956 and has a loyal following for its lauded wine collection. The focus at the Tampa restaurant is on France and California, and the cellar includes rarities like an 1845 Château Gruaud Larose. Diners can check out more than 200 options by the glass to pair with the restaurant’s prized plates, from Chateaubriand carpaccio and duck confit to Osetra caviar and foie gras a la plancha.
The Graycliff: 275,000 bottles
Located in a historic 18th-century mansion, this lavish hotel in Nassau, Bahamas, houses the Caribbean’s first five-star restaurant, an accolade enhanced only by its colossal wine collection. Owner Enrico Garzaroli has curated the selection for decades. It showcases more than 5,000 wineries from 20 countries. Rarities include an 1865 Château Lafite and a 1727 Rüdesheimer Apostelwein.
Marqués de Riscal’s “Cathedral”: 135,000 bottles
Between a luxury hotel, spa and Michelin-starred dining, there’s ample reason to visit the Marqués de Riscal City of Wine, one of the oldest and largest wineries in Spain’s Rioja region. Founded in 1858, the winery is comprised of three buildings, which includes the original Bodega 1860 cellar. Guests can view its “Cathedral,” a private collection of bottles from every vintage since the winery’s first 1862 harvest—just a sample of its full inventory.
Restaurant Latour: 100,000 bottles
Situated on the four-star Crystal Springs Resort, this New Jersey restaurant (also a Wine Enthusiast Restaurant Hall of Fame honoree) gained a reputation over the past 15 years for its seasonal New American cuisine. The biggest draw, though, is its wine cellar, a nine-room maze comprised of more than 5,100 labels that focuses on France, Italy and California. Guests can tour the inventory daily, or book a private exploration of the Bordeaux or Grand Cru rooms.
Brush Creek Ranch: 30,000 bottles
This 30,000-acre Wyoming cattle ranch recently debuted The Farm, a food-and-drink dimension with a distillery, brewery, restaurant and state-of-the-art cellar. Gretchen Allen, the head sommelier, hopes to grow the subterranean space to 100,000 bottles. It’s an ode to Bordeaux wines, as evidenced by one of the most extensive collections of First Growth wines from all five houses, along with an array of covetable large-format bottlings.
Don Alfonso 1890: 25,000 bottles
This hotel may be located in an Italian town with a population of just 3,000, but its wine collection is larger than life. More than 1,500 labels are offered here, with a particular affinity shown for the wines of Campania, Piedmont and Tuscany. It’s also known to have one of the largest stashes of Brunello di Montalcino, perfect to pair with the on-site Michelin-starred restaurant’s specialty dish: sucking pig with sweet-and-sour tamarind.
Antoine’s: 17,000 bottles
Antoine Alciatore opened this New Orleans restaurant in 1840, where he helped lay the groundwork for French Creole cuisine. While the venue’s original wine collection was lost during Hurricane Katrina, the team has built it up again in staggering ways. It’s housed in a 165-foot wine “alley” with an emphasis on French finds.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: 10,000 bottles
Views of the San Diego Bay and aromas of prime rib-eye get even better alongside the wine collection at this two-story steakhouse. Faith Fulginiti, the wine director, spearheads a program that includes favorites from regions as far-ranging as California, Lebanon and Brazil. There are also several rare finds, like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Penfolds Grange and Vega Sicilia.
By Wine Mag