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Santa Barbara Cellers offers temperature- and humidity-controlled cellars in a variety of sizes with personal access seven days a week. (Santa Barbara Cellars photo)

Once a hobby for the elite few, wine collecting has attracted a much broader demographic in recent decades. Today’s collectors range from young professionals living in small apartments to master collectors with 300 cases or more.

Individuals without a home cellar or those with a full cellar are seeking out professional wine storage centers to keep their collection in optimal condition.

That is where Santa Barbara architect and developer Trudi Carey comes in. The builder of award-winning Patterson Self-Storage, Carey opened Santa Barbara Cellars at the request of clients.

Santa Barbara Cellars offers temperature- and humidity-controlled cellars with personal access seven days a week. The new center, off Highway 101, combines modern technology and security with a sophisticated design. It has cellars small enough for a four-case collection and large enough for 300 cases.

“We are very excited about our grand opening and we’ve already had a great response,” said Carey, who expects the center to fill up during the summer. “As the weather gets hotter, people become more concerned about keeping their wine in the garage or basement.”

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The Carey Group incorporated all of the latest features in the center’s design, including a digital surveillance system and individual cellar door alarms. (Santa Barbara Cellars photo)

Wine requires special conditions to mature properly and, according to wine experts, most home environments don’t meet the criteria.

“Temperature, humidity and lighting are the most important considerations when storing wine,” said Geof Wyatt, collector and president of Wyatt Technology in Santa Barbara. “The proper storage conditions can turn a good wine into a great wine; and likewise, the wrong conditions can spoil your entire collection.”

After researching wine storage centers from New York to San Francisco, The Carey Group incorporated all of the latest features in the center’s design, including a digital surveillance system and individual cellar door alarms. However, manager Jane Jewell points out that they don’t rely on technology alone.

“Office managers are on site to monitor the property and assist clients seven days a week,” Jewell said.

For more information about Santa Barbara Cellars, call 805.964.0924 or visit www.sbcellars.com.

Rea Warrecker represents The Carey Group.