A new wine storage facility opened in Sarasota and I decided to check it out. I met with the owner, of Cellar Fifty-Five, Brett Laurvick, and had a tour. This is a fabulous facility. It is only three months old and everything is brand new. The lockers vary in size from 3’x2’dx2.5’h to 7’x9’dx8’h. Brett said that the larger ones were the most popular. They are symmetrically arranged and the entire area is pristine. Some unit owners create racks inside and others simply stack cases. The entire area is climate controlled at 55 degrees (hence the name) and 60% -70% humidity. Membership has two levels, Basic and Premium, and monthly costs will vary accordingly. Entry level membership is reasonable at $35 per month. Access to the lockers is 10 AM to 5 PM weekdays, and 10 AM to 4 PM Saturday. All customers are allowed 24 hour access. Another feature is the ability to accept wine shipments directly. They can be held or placed in the locker. Also a wine inventory is available to premium members as well.
Brett was involved in sports representation and became hooked on wine when a player served him a Joseph Phelps Insignia at dinner. A native of Washington State, he then made it his mission to visit as many wine producers as possible. After leaving the sports business, he then decided to focus on wine storage. According to him, this is the only wine storage facility in Sarasota County dedicated to the broad spectrum of wine collectors. Another facility in Sarasota caters to large collections and is more expensive.
In addition to wine storage, Cellar Fifty Five has an intimate lounge at the entry to the facility. Clients can use it for private tastings at a reduced rate.
With the constant heat and the vagaries of weather in Florida, this presents a nice option to the serious wine collector.
8229 Vicela Dr. Sarasota, FL 34240 Directly off Fruitville road, it is easily accessible from Lakewood Ranch as well.