When you think of wine cellars you probably envisage huge mansions with rooms to spare.
But as the newest interiors trend reveals, any wine lover can have their own cellar, no matter how big or small their home.
And across the county – and beyond – wine collectors are becoming increasingly inventive when it comes to creating space for their precious tipples.
Ian Watkinson, of Watkinson Joinery started creating hand-crafted wine cellars and storage five years ago.
Since then the business, known for its high quality handmade craftsmanship, has devised stunning solutions for customers who want to both store their wine properly, and show it off as an attractive feature in their home.
It’s an element of the business, which specialises in hand-built kitchens, wardrobes and bespoke cabinet making and joinery services, which almost came about by chance.
“There was one customer that we had worked for before who asked if we would do a cellar for them,” said Ian, who has worked as a cabinet maker for 23 years.
“We thought it would be a nice thing to add to the portfolio.
“It all kicked off from that, just someone having a bit of faith in us.”
Since then, Ian and his team have created wine cellars and rooms of all shapes and sizes.
Some are traditional cellars complete with hand-crafted spiral staircases, while others are more surprising. Ian has designed mini-cellars to fit under stairs, as well as striking dining room features and unique shelving.
“We did one that was on the main floor level in the hallway, but we included display windows so it made it a real feature,” he said.
Ian recommends European oak with its ‘beautiful character and nutty brown colour’ is a perfect accompaniment to the greens and burgundy shades of most wines. As an alternative, rich walnut offers a ‘darker, more classic look’.
The key thing is each cellar is made to the customer’s specification.
“A lot of people doing wine cellars just buy the parts and assemble it, whereas we make everything,” he said.
And it seems customers notice the difference: “They love it, they are all wowed by it.”
Watkinson Joinery doesn’t just build wine cellars, it also offers hand-built kitchens, handcrafted wood furniture, bespoke cabinets, joinery and custom-made walk-in wardrobes and bedrooms.
Each requires a particular skill and understanding of the mechanics of joining wood, something Ian is passionate about passing onto the next generation. Watkinson Joinery currently has one apprentice and a former apprentice still works with the company, while Ian is hoping to recruit a second apprentice to start in September.
“As we grow we want to have more and more apprentices and hopefully they will become future employees,” he said.
“They are the future of the trades.”
Ian believes demand is growing for the time-honoured skills of the craftsman and woman whose numbers have fallen in recent years partly as a result of the push to encourage more young people to pursue traditionally academic paths.
However, he believes that tide has now started to turn.
“People are appreciating that it is highly skilled and quality work,” he said.
“It is important to build that up for the future.”
Watkinson Joinery offers handmade quality craftmanship across a range of products, from bedrooms to wine cellars and kitchens. The experienced team can even create a unique wooden gift or plaque.
The company is also committed to community involvement, with sponsorship links to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds United Football Club, Sessay Cricket Club and the Hamilton Junior Cricket League.