Like people, wine sometimes has trouble aging gracefully. For optimum results, it needs constant temperature and humidity, as well as absence of light, sound, and vibration. Carl’s Wine Vault, which opened in February, offers practical solutions for every level of collector.
“Naples is a vibrant wine community, and demand for storage outweighs supply,” says Bruce Nichols, proprietor of The Wine Store. “Even if they have fabulous cellars in their homes, most collectors are always in need of space for overflow wine.”
Nichols has offered storage lockers in his facility for years and manages private cellars throughout the area. Husband-and-wife team Rachel Keller and Dana Sjostedt, owners of Carl’s, initially brought him on as a consultant to share his expertise. He explains that the customer base for the project is broad.
“We’ve created a unique model for wine storage,” he says. “In addition to consumers, we cater to restaurants, distributors, and auction houses. Those bulk customers can have their purchases shipped to Carl’s and delivered as needed.”
The facility is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and has two generators as well as a backup system using solar energy and a Tesla Powerpack. One side includes space for private collectors, with monthly prices ranging from $125 for a locker holding 24 standard cases to $325 for one that accommodates 60; on the commercial side, distributors and auction houses can rent space for upwards of 20,000 cases. Carl’s also functions as a concierge service, accepting consignments for customers and providing inventory management in addition to delivery.
And who was Carl? A member of the Greatest Generation; Carl Sjostedt (Dana’s father) fought with Patton’s Third Army and won a Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart. His determination to protect his country is matched by his son’s desire to safeguard his clients’ wine collections.