Jan 15, 2018
Seen one wine cellar, seem them all? Not so: among these six standouts are a World War II bunker and an architectural confection more befitting a Bond film.
Milestii Mici, Moldova
Although Moldova may seem an unlikely place to find – according to Guinness World Records – the world’s largest wine collection, the small Eastern European country is actually a viticultural powerhouse. Close to capital Chisinau, Milestii Mici is a musty, dusty 55km warren of limestone tunnels, with names like Sauvignon Street, and nearly two million densely stacked bottles. Before getting down to tastings to a soundtrack of jaunty accordion music, car-based tours showcase secret caves, hobbit-size doorways and seismic stations used to monitor for earthquakes.
Crown Wine Cellars, Hong Kong
Then a secret British Army bunker, Shouson Hill became the last Allied stronghold to fall to the Japanese in 1941 during the Battle of Hong Kong. That tumultuous history explains the blast-proof steel-and-concrete casing of today’s Crown Wine Cellars: a storage facility and ultra-high-end, ultra-exclusive private club. Members can access the thrilling tunnel entrances and eight huge cellars, and hoard their own bottles for enjoyment upon visiting the venue. Fine-dining cuisine and cocktails are also available.
Penfolds Magill Estate, Australia
Situated amid green hills just outside the city of Adelaide, historic Penfolds Magill Estate is characterised by its red lettering and spindly, rather twee chimney. That same rouge colouring and country style is also evident in the winemaker’s cellar, which was revamped in 2015. The collonaded, stone-floor hallways are now accompanied by chic, galleried storage rooms – some of which include precious vintages of Grange, Australia’s best-known tipple. Tours are available daily, and can be combined with degustations and tastings.