(Above: It took several trips with my 1976 Datsun 280ZX to get my wine home from the bunker.)
When I moved to Rome a few years ago, I did what a lot of people leaving the country for an unspecified period of time might do: I sold my stuff. Well, a lot of it. A couple of things were left with friends, and my sister scored a nice bed. But for the most part I downsized myself and material goods down to a large duffle, a wheely bag and a laptop. Hand me that plane ticket, I’m ready.
That left one small detail: what to do with my wine?
I couldn’t really ask my friends or family, not if I wanted to ever see and drink my wine again, so I started to explore storage options. A friend had moved to Spain earlier, so on his recommendation I moved my wine to Sausalito Cellars. That turned out to be a huge mistake, and necessitated a rescue run by my friend Melissa who got my wine (and hers) out before the Mare Island Fire. Nothing like living a continent away and being left powerless, unable to protect cherished Burgundies and German wines…
When I returned to San Francisco I moved into an apartment too small for my wine stash and so I turned again to off-site storage. This time I found Presidio Wine Bunkers, which as the name implies is a converted military facility in the old Presidio at the western edge of the city. It’s not just any military facility, but a breech-loading mortar installation from the 1880s and 90s built to protect the Bay from hostile ships. They were never fired and eventually decommissioned.
Nowadays the bunker has been converted to a wine storage facility that’s not only temperature controlled (underground, 9 foot thick walls) but also earthquake proof.
My new place has plenty of room for my wine, so I’ve now moved my stash back to where I can get at it. Can’t decide yet whether or not that’s a good thing. Check back in 6 months to see what remains of my vertical of Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Kabinetts and we’ll see how damaging the move was.