Imagine a football field, stacked with dirt 6-8 feet high.

According to “Caveman” Jon, that’s how much debris, and dirt removed from a typical wine cave excavation. Jon knows a thing or two about caves. He’s been building them for wineries across Napa for years now. His latest customer, former Four Seasons exec Duffy Keys, hired Jon to build a wine cave for his new facility in Oakville – an idea he calls “crazy” that germinated while traveling with his wife in Hong Kong.

B Cellars Napa - Wine Cave Video Tour

If you’re like me, you’ve definitely seen and been inside your share of caves. Like egg-shaped concrete fermenters it appears to be one of the trendy things to do when building a winery these days.┬áBut I had never actually witnessed the construction of a wine cave first hand.

That all changed during the Premiere Napa Valley auction week when Stark Insider was invited for a special hardhat tour of the new B Cellars site.


Keys gave us all access during a dramatic earth tunneling session. As you can see in this video, when you’re drilling into the crust, you need more than an 18 volt drill and a hammer. Even when your ultimate goal is an agrarian aesthetic.

What is a cut and cover?

What does the “B” stand for in B Cellars? (hint: think sugar)


What does Duffy Keys’ wife think of this whole building a winery and wine cave thing?

Only one way to find out. That’s to watch the latest episode of Stark Insider TV, shot on location at B Cellars in the Napa Valley:

STARK INSIDER TV: Wine Cave Construction Tour at B Cellars Napa

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. Interests include San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear