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Cellar Masters Crafts Custom Showcases for Wine Lovers

For the past three decades, Cellar Masters in Newbury Park has specialized in building custom wine cellars that specifically fit clients' unique spaces.

“We understand and appreciate our clients’ passion for wine because we have the same passion,” says owner Scott Berry, who grew up around wine on his aunt and uncle’s vineyard in Mendocino County. “Wine is social—it is best when shared with others. A wine cellar or wine wall provides a showcase for folks to share their wine.”

Cellar Masters is a fully licensed and bonded contractor that specializes in the design, construction and installation of climate-controlled custom wine cellars and wine storage solutions. Serving Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Orange and Riverside Counties since 1990, Cellar Masters has more than 2,500 custom wine cellars installed throughout California and greater North America.

The principals at Cellar Masters are actively involved as vineyard owners, winemakers and avid wine collectors.

“We know the proper handling, storage and organization of wine,” Berry says. “This expertise is an unrivaled asset in the design and construction of your cellar.”

Popular offerings include traditional wine cellars made from the finest quality woods and cut to precision as well as sleek and elegant contemporary wine cellars designed with frameless glass, acrylic and stainless steel. Cellar Masters also creates wine walls based on the latest modern trends for storing and displaying wine.

When it comes to building wine cellars, Cellar Masters is unique because “we do it all ourselves—we do not subcontract the work,” Berry emphasizes.

He further explains that a general contractor may build a space, HVAC could install a cooling system, and either a cabinet maker could build racking, or “kit” racks could be installed. 

“We have found these efforts lacking,” Berry says. For instance, rooms were not insulated properly, cooling systems would not drop down to proper temperatures, humidity would be too low or too high, bottles would not always fit in the racking, or the racking looked disjointed as they tried to make kit racks fit the space.

“We can provide a turnkey solution that is designed for you providing for a beautiful feature to any home,” Berry says.

He notes that a wine cellar does not need to be in the basement—rather, a wine space can be built anywhere. 

“While we design and build cellars within full basements or rooms, we also build them within closets, under stairs, or under-utilized wall space,” Berry says. 

The point is that each space is unique to the individual. 

For instance, “some cellars can contain more the 10,000 bottles, others 100,” Berry says. “It really depends on what the client wants. We can help define that vision. Designs can be traditional or contemporary in style with wood, metal and acrylic materials.”

Cellar Masters has been in business for more than 30 years, and Berry bought the business six years ago as the founder, Ben Benoit, retired to his vineyard in the Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico. 

“Ben… has a passion for wine,” says Berry, noting that Benoit started a construction company in 1989 and discovered that no one was really building wine cellars. 

“He grew the company, becoming one of the largest cellar builders in the United States,” Berry says. “Following a career in IT, I looked for something to do that helped feed my passion. I had been a client of Cellar Masters and knew of Ben's passion for his vineyard so I approached him about buying the business.”

When Berry and Benoit first met to discuss the sale of Cellar Masters, Berry’s first question was about the employees: “Would they stay on?” 

“As Ben considered the staff family, he knew right then he would sell the business to me,” Berry says. “Most of the original craftsmen are still here.”

Looking back on his current vocation, Berry contemplates a quote by Chinese philosopher Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” 

“He was right! I love what I do,” Berry says. “While I do most of the face-to-face consultations, I never feel like a salesman because people have already decided they want a wine cellar, as they share the passion. I just have to guide them through the process and help design a space they'll be excited to share with friends and family.”

As far as operating during Covid, “we practice social distancing and wearing of masks; we have continued to operate during the last few months since construction was deemed essential,” Berry explains. “We respect that some are not comfortable with people coming into their homes so some jobs have been put on hold, but others, like new home construction, have continued with the new safety protocols in place.”

Ultimately, “Cellar Masters wants to continue to feed those that share the wine passion by providing elegant custom wine cellars,” he adds.

Cellar Masters is located at 2088-A Anchor Court in Newbury Park. For more information, email info@cellarmastersinc.com; or call 805.375.5040.

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