Clayton Korte Converts An Excavated Limestone Cave Into An Elegant Wine Cellar in Texas

Clayton Korte Converts An Excavated Limestone Cave Into An Elegant Wine Cellar in Texas

This wine cellar designed by Austin and San Antonio-based architects Clayton Korte is inserted into the rolling hills of Texas. Located at the vicinity of the owner's ranch in Texas Hill Country, which is popular for its picturesque beauty of verdant greenery, spring-fed waters, expansive grasslands and lakes, the wine cellar includes a tasting room, bar and restroom, as well as a collection of 4,000 bottles stored at an optimal temperature thanks to the colder, subterranean climate. The firm has shared detailed info about the project with SURFACES REPORTER (SR). Take a look:


Also Read:  An Organic White Winery Pavilion That Emerges from the Greenery and Disappears in the Snow | Hongkong | O Studio Architects


The private wine cave serves as a destination along a secluded bend of the Blanco River. Excavated into the north face of a solid limestone hillside, this shotcrete-lined tube is protected on the east and west by tall oak and elm trees, allowing it to nearly disappear within the native landscape.

Concrete Exterior

The unassuming exterior entry court reveals a bit of mystery as it provides just a glimpse of what lies within.  Heavy limestone boulders, collected from the excavation, and lush vegetation further camouflage the entry as you descend into the mouth of the cave. A tasting lounge, bar, wine cellar, and restroom are all tucked into an 18’ tall x 70’ deep existing tunnel.


The exterior opening of the cave is capped with a board-formed concrete portal that molds to the irregular surfaces of the limestone and structurally retains the mouth of the earth cut. The concrete is meant to patina naturally over time as native moss and ivy clings to the face and climbs onto the flanking limestone walls to further blend the headwall into its surroundings. 

Inside the Wine Cave

Once inside, a study of white oak, both raw and ebonized, Douglas fir to panel the walls and dropped ceilings as a warm contrast to more rugged concrete and stone that surrounds.

winecave-surfaces-reporterCustom insulated and thermally broken steel and wood windows provide separation between the interior and exterior, as well as the entertaining lounge and the chilled cellar.

Reclaimed cedar was salvaged and milled for live-edged countertop surfaces for the tasting bar and the floating restroom vanity. "It's like a ship in a bottle," notes Brian Korte, FAIA, lead architect for the project. "The components of the wood insert are deliberately kept away from the existing cave walls so that the room remains adaptable."


Also Read: Modern Wine Cellar

Thermally Controlled Interiors

Sitting under the fully arched profile at the back of the cave, the private cellar is surrounded by casework providing storage for an ever-expanding private collection of +/-4,000 bottles. 

winecave-surfaces-reporterThis space is thermally controlled by the naturally colder subterranean temperatures with supplemental cooling to help maintain an optimal atmosphere of 55-60 degrees. 

Project Details

Architecture and Interior Design: Clayton Korte
Project Team: Brian Korte, FAIA, Partner, Camden Greenlee, Brandon Tharp
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
Photo Courtesy: Casey Dunn


Primary exterior material: board-formed concrete
Primary exterior doors: custom, wood-clad doors
Primary exterior door hardware: Rocky Mountain Hardware
Secondary exterior door hardware: Deltana, Rixson, Simonswerk, Saint Louis Design, Dorma
Light fixtures: BK Lighting, Sistemalux, Tech Lighting, RAB, Lumimii, WAC, Ecosense, 3G, Lightcraft
Custom-designed pendant light (cellar): Clayton Korte
Appliances: Miele, Sub Zero, Perlick, Wolf
Plumbing fixtures: Toto, Vigo, Kohler, Watermark
Text and images courtesy:
Keep reading SURFACES REPORTER for more such articles and stories.

Join us in SOCIAL MEDIA to stay updated


Further, Subscribe to our magazine Sign Up for the FREE Surfaces Reporter Magazine Newsletter

Also, check out Surfaces Reporter’s encouraging, exciting and educational WEBINARS here.

You may also like to read about:

Experience the Soul of wine

Bespoke Wine Rack Inspired By The Shape of Cheese…& Wine!

And more…


Post Your Comment

"Content that powers your Business. News that keeps you informed."

Surfaces Reporter is one of India's leading media in Print & Digital Telecast for News on Interiors & Architecture Projects, Products, Building Materials, and the Business of Design! Since 2011, it serves as a referral for designers & architects to know about inspiring projects and source new products. If you have a Product or Project worth publishing in Surfaces Reporter, please email us or you can also submit your project online.

Like Surfaces Reporter on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram | Subscribe to our magazine | Sign Up for the FREE Surfaces Reporter Magazine Newsletter

This is alt