Moss in Detail: a retail oriented Wine Rack


Thursday we will publish final photos of one of our latest complete projects: Pastoral’s new restaurant, Appellation.  As a teaser, we’ll focus on one small aspect of the project – the wine rack display shelves for the retail area.  We think they’re pretty sweet.  

An important part of any Pastoral shop is the Wine Retail area.  One of the most interesting elements of our recent collaboration with Pastoral was that the space was to be BOTH a restaurant and the classic bread, wine and cheese retail store.  Keeping those two parts connected, and yet distinct, was a topic of much discussion.

We realized that the display wine rack could form a functional divider between the spaces.  It would be both a sculptural object, wall and merchandising unit all at the same time.

Context: The Wine Retail Area 

wine rack design plan

The plan sketch above shows the rough layout of the bottle area of the retail – cheese and bread are displayed and sold at the front of the retail area.  We needed to showcase around 200 different types of wine or specialty spirits.  Rather than locating the wine display only along walls – as has been done at other Pastoral locations – we created a freestanding, double sided, wine rack wall to separate the retail and restaurant areas!

Not Our First Wine Rack Rodeo

Moss has also experimented with beautiful and functional wine storage in our Enlightened Man’s Entertainment Center (see the Furniture Division) and for a previous Pastoral project – the restaurant Bar Pastoral on Broadway in Lakeview, shown below.

wine samples

In those cases, the wine rack we designed had more of a boutique display function.  It only needed to hold a few of each kind of wine and didn’t need to showcase labels to retail customers.  It also needed to keep the bottles from rolling around and horizontal – with corks wet.  Hence the horizontal bottle orientation and the angled shelves – working WITH gravity to keep bottles from sliding around.

Inspiration: Wine Racks of the Web

There are many ways to store and display wine.  Our issue was one of scale.  We needed to present multiples of many different varieties of wine in an attractive and flexible way.  They needed to be easily accessible to customers (ie in grab range) and yet very visible.  And, as mentioned above, they needed to help form a dividing wall between the retail and restaurant areas.  Our search of the internet yielded many great precedents.

pinterest collage - wine rack

Design is in the Detail

wine rack design sketches

We wanted to create a simple grid that would showcase its own beautiful wood structure and still keep the focus on the wine.

  • This design orients each type of wine in its own vertical stack.  The bottles are displayed standing vertically in the center section in two rows – at easy eye level for reading the label.
  • A few bottles of each type are stacked in front of each other there so that if a customer grabs the standing bottle, they won’t leave a hole in the line.  More bottles are slotted in horizontally – better for long term storage – above or below the display bottle.
  • The wine rack is sized to hold an entire case – 12 bottles –  to prevent cluttering up the back-of-house storage area with “just a few extra bottles” that wouldn’t fit on the shelf.

sketch and photo

Come back Thursday for the full reveal of Appellation’s lovely interior!