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Our Story

Custom wine cellar builder Jeff Hagen in his shopCustom wine cellar racking units prior to installationCustom wine cellar racking display row clamping while glue driesCustom wine cellar builder Jeff Hagen with sommelier Peter Plaehn

VinGrotto was started by Jeff Hagen in 2006.


     From a young age Jeff developed a passion for woodworking and architecture.  Then in his late twenties, a well-meaning friend introduced him to fine wine.  Of course, this was his downfall; there's no turning back from such things.  After a couple decades of tasting better and better wine, thanks to wonderful wine friends, and after the third friend asked him to build a wine cellar, Jeff had an epiphany: he should combine his three passions. And so, VinGrotto was born.

     What followed was many years of building true and proper wine cellars, something hardly anyone does.  Inevitably, this brought Jeff in contact with an ever widening circle of fellow wine lovers and much sharing of wine.  However, having more of a knack for the mechanics, architecture and design of objects, he largely left the selection of fine wines to friends with far more refined palates than his, and let himself be drawn to the gadgetry and accessory side of the wine world.

     This resulted in the acquisition of an impressive array of wine glasses, decanters, openers, filters, foil cutters, carrying cases, and many-many other toys.  Eh-hem - tools.  Some became instant favorites, some needed getting used to, yet became indispensable, and of course most were just not worth bothering with.  Then just as with wine cellars, understanding his uncompromising standards, people started asking which ones he liked and why.

     Subsequently - lo and behold - Jeff had yet another epiphany!  The benefits of such expertise and passion should be shared with all, and the people who produce these quality items deserve a quality platform on which the fruits of their labor can be properly showcased and acquired.  So now we've given them such a platform, along with why we recommend their products.  Please take a look in our "Wine Tools" section. 

     We only offer tools we love.  We don't offer anything just because 'we think it will sell'.  That's why we're confident that adding them to your collection of all things wine will add as much enjoyment to your wine lives as they've added to ours.  AND, if you're not a wine person, and want to buy a gift for a wine lover, you can be confident your gift will be appreciated.

     Thank you for visiting our website.  We appreciate it.

And if you're a wine lover who knows of a great wine tool we don't offer, send us a note. We'd love to hear about it.

Doesn't he just look like the kind of guy who has epiphanies? I wonder if he's having one now... Custom wine cellar builder Jeff Hagen after an epiphany