The Mine Shaft Wine Cellar

Special projects are where Ben and his team have the opportunity to truly display their skills. Not only is there a level of craftsmanship required for these types of tasks but outside the box thinking and creative problem solving. Listen to the experience from this happy customer.

Over 22 years ago we moved into our 1924 Colonial style home in downtown Vancouver, WA. There was a storage room in the basement with no heat that would someday make an ideal wine cellar.

I traveled extensively for business. On one trip I visited a mining operation in Alaska. It occurred to me how dark and cool the mine shaft was with dripping wet stone walls and that it would be a great place to store wine.

When I retired in 2020, I put that memory to use to convert the basement storage room into a wine cellar. We were very fortunate to have a friend and contractor by the name of Ben Chumak, owner of Align Concepts. Ben completed two-bathroom remodels, a laundry room, and a complete kitchen remodel for us. Naturally, I turned to Ben to consider the idea of creating a wine room with the feel of a mine shaft! Fortunately, he accepted the challenge and the job!

This was one of the most amazing and creative experiences I have ever been a part of.

The Walls

Together, Ben and I came up with an idea for the walls. We wanted to create a rugged, just-cut, stone-like appearance. 

We acquired the stones from a local quarry in Camas. Then Ben cut and custom fit each stone on the existing walls to make the room truly feel like a mine shaft deep underground.

The Details

For the final touch, we decided to install a real “fire safety door” to seal off this imaginary area that was no longer in use and clearly “unsafe.”

The door we found was rough, crusty, rusted and was previously used as a fire security door. Ben was able to fabricate hinges and latches to install it onto the existing cinder block foundation basement wall and surround it with more timbers to give it the look of an area that is forbidden to enter.

Behind the door Ben made a glass shelving area to hold and display unique brandies, cognacs, and related liquors. He also included a lighting system that illuminates the bottles with any color desired. The lighting gives the room a fantastic glow combined with steel-caged ceiling lights to complete the working mineshaft appearance.

This Mine Shaft Wine Cellar is unlike any other wine cellar thanks to the creative talents of Ben Chumak. He took some rough ideas and thru a collaborative dialogue using “what if” scenarios created the wine room of my dreams. It is my favorite room in our house! You won’t go wrong using the talents and creative ability of Ben Chumak at Align Concepts.