Designed by the architects from Clayton Korte, Hill Country Wine Cave is a private wine cellar built into the side of a limestone hill. The project is located on a bend in the Blanco River on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, between Austin and San Antonio.
The cave was first excavated into the rock and was then lined with concrete. The area in front of the entrance is paved with large stones. Surrounded by unspoiled nature, this unassuming entry court preserves the magic of the setting while also adding to the elegance of the interior. The mouth of the cave is surmounted by a concrete portal that acts as an important structural element while blending into the surrounding rock.
Inside are a tasting lounge, bar, cellar, and restroom. The interior is extensively lined with white oak, both raw and ebonized, alternating with vertical-grain Douglas fir. These paneled walls and dropped ceilings contrast with the concrete and stone that’s been left exposed, creating an inviting warmth. Wood and steel thermal break windows separate inside from out. Finally, cedar wood was milled for the false ceiling finishes, the tasting counter, and some elements in the bathroom.
Nestled under the arching stone roof at the back of the cave, the cellar itself comprises a series of wooden shelves that house the ever-expanding private collection of about 4,000 bottles. The temperature here is kept to an optimal 55–60 degrees (13–16°C) by a combination of the natural underground temperature and a supplemental cooling system.
Architect: Clayton Korte project team
Location: Texas, USA
Photography courtesy of Clayton Korte project team
Clayton Korte project team
Brian Korte, FAIA, Partner
Architecture and Interior Design: Clayton Korte
Structural Engineer: SSG Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Intelligent Engineering Services
Lighting Design: Studio Lumina
Mechanical Engineer: Positive Energy
Concrete subcontractor: Dash Concrete
Specialty steel fabrication: Fasone and Associates
Art metalwork: Cactus Max Fine Metal Artwork
Contractor: Monday Builders