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Showing Their Spirits

Wine Lovers Spotlight Their Hobby in Outdoor BBQ Counter

Canoga Park, CA. (May 2003)-Outdoor entertaining has come a long way from kettle barbecues and inflatable pools. People are designing their yards with the same regard to aesthetic appeal and functionality that they seek inside their homes. That's why Green Scene Landscape supervising designer Scott Cohen spends time getting to know his clients and their lifestyles to translate their wishes into very personalized designs.
"On my initial design consultations, I always ask clients about their hobbies, collections and travels. It gives me better insight into how they are going to use the yard and what kinds of designs will appeal to them," Cohen says. During one such meeting with clients Joel and Lisa Weinberg in Simi Valley, CA, Cohen discovered that the husband and wife are avid wine enthusiasts who often hold wine-tasting parties at their home.
"The decorative nature of wine bottles made them a natural accent for the patio design," Cohen says. He created a u-shaped barbecue counter with a four-burner grill and built-in refrigerator topped with a cast-in place concrete counter. Over 330 wine bottles (provided by wine distributor PRP Wine International, Inc.) were used to create four kaleidoscopic panels in the front of bar, back-lit with over 500 fiber optic cables.
When planning to use the wine bottles within the counter design, Cohen carefully researched the structural integrity of the bottles. "Working with our structural engineer, we developed a standard weight load for an average wine bottle. They are actually quite strong-just about equal to building with the glass blocks typically used in glass wall construction," he says.

Cohen also found that different colored bottles had different lighting requirements-one cable was sufficient for white wine bottles, while darker glass required more cables. "The effect, especially at night, is really quite spectacular," Cohen says. "The clients were able to showcase their love of wine in way that added to the beauty of their home in a very dramatic way."
To further accentuate the wine theme of the entertainment area, Cohen, a trained ceramic artisan, hand-painted four-inch tiles with a grapevine pattern to go around the perimeter of the counter area. The project also included an 8' x 10' in-ground spa with 25 relaxing hydrotherapy jets. Cohen created a faux rock waterfall that creates warm massage when it cascades into the spa. The rock was stained and painted to mimic the colors of the local natural stone, accented by the colorful plantings throughout the yard. The complete project costs were about $80,000.
PRP Wine International, Inc. is an international distributor of exclusive wines through in-home tasting sessions with a personal wine consultant. Call (800) 835-1831 for more information.
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