company, worked alongside Curtis Dahl and Joseph Kline, own-
ers of Joseph & Curtis Custom wine cellars, to design the space.
Allen is particularly fond of Italian wines, so the team created
a Tuscan-style masterpiece with a barreled ceiling, terra cotta
floors, brick niches and wrought-iron accents. “I wanted that
feeling of age and history,” Allen says.
Since much of Tenafly sits on bedrock (the same rock forma-
tions that tower above the Hudson River extend westward
underground, Allen explains), the first step was significant ex-
cavation. “We dynamited massive amounts of rock,” Allen says.
As a plus, the remaining rock creates a cool subfloor, helping to
maintain the cellar’s temperature around the 56-degree mark.
( The rock works naturally with the elaborate climate-control
system installed behind cabinet doors.)
Materials were chosen to emulate old-world Italy. The
rich mahogany barreled ceiling is intended to mimic wine
barrels and is finished with actual staves. Dividing the two
rooms are custom-made wine barrels hand-carved with the
name of the family and the street where the house sits. The
48 FEBRUARY 2017
home&garden NEW JERSEY
TAS TING TIME
Below: Wine collector Robb Allen
savors a glass of Soldera at the tasting table of his Tenafly wine cellar.
Right: The 600-square-foot cellar
features a mahogany vaulted ceiling
crafted to mimic wine barrels.
An oenophile blasts through bed-
rock to create a home for his wine
collection. By Lauren Payne
Robb Allen had been collecting wine for years, but rarely opened a bottle. Instead, he kept his collec- tion of nearly 4,000 bottles in a wine and fur-storage center in Jersey City.
“For about a decade, I mostly collected and didn’t take much
out,” says Allen. “I grew my collection by forced denial. I couldn’t
get to it.”
That changed in 2015, when Allen and his wife, Lina, along
with their two children, Haley, 17, and Collin, 11, moved into a
12,000-square-foot home on the east hill in Tenafly. The hallmark
of the newly constructed house: a 600-square-foot wine cellar.
The sprawling stone house, set in lush natural landscaping,
had just the traditional look that Allen had in mind. “I didn’t
want anyone to be able to figure out if it was built yesterday or
100 years ago,” he says.
Allen, founder and CEO of Datapipe, a global technology