Skip to main content

This is the most insane wine cellar in the world

Want to take a peak at the coolest wine cellar on earth? It's set in the Maldives on a private island

When your wine cellar is set on a remote private island and vintage bottles are flown in, you know it’s special. That’s the case at Tavaru Tower, home to a stunning wine cellar in Velaa in the Maldives.

The impressive wine room is home to some 500 bins of wine, including rarities like a 1956 Domaine de la Romanée Conti. Thousands of bottles live there, and if guests still desire something else entirely, select bottles can be flown in from elsewhere (the island has its own fleet of aircraft). It’s like room service for the wealthiest wine fanatics on the planet.

The wine cellar at Tavaru Tower in the Maldives.
Facebook/Velaa Island

The tower is a feast of architectural delight, built in 2014 and resembling a post-modern version of a castle’s lookout tower. It wears a cool transparent curtain on the exterior and, at its core, has an amazing spiral staircase, incredible bars and lookout areas, and the tube-like wine cellar. Wine storage has never looked so good.

Winos would kill for a few hours in this expansive cellar. Not only is it overseen by a crew of sommeliers, but it also comes with cool built-ins like nautical-themed windows and an elevator that can transport you to the wine bin of your choice. Visitors are surrounded by 360 degrees of bottles, making for a supremely immersive cellar experience.

You may be in the tropics, but the cellar is kept nice and cool. The two-story facility is not huge and is home to quality over quantity. Some of the rarest vintages call this cellar home, with offerings dating back to the late-19th Century. Yes, it’s the largest collection of wine in the Maldives, but that’s not saying much. More importantly, it’s home to vintage Champagnes and Madeira more than a century-and-a-half old.

Tavaru Tower in the Maldives.
Facebook/Velaa Island

The wines tend to join the work of a Michelin Star-awarded chef who commands the kitchen of the private island’s main restaurant, Aragu. Chef Gaushan de Silva, formerly of Noma, leads the way and will even create personalized tasting menus based on guests’ preferences.

It’s no wonder the island has such a coveted wine cellar. The island is owned by a billionaire and caters to the super-wealthy. Fine wine tends to follow this crowd like a moth to the flame. The wines themselves are sourced from all over the world, targeting lauded regions like Bordeaux, Alsace, Burgundy, and more. The restaurant wine list spans 30 pages, with tons of famed French houses as well as iconic Italian labels such as Dal Forno Romano. There are hard-to-find wines from other noteworthy nations, like Austria, Australia, and Germany. Some great American wines are featured too, hailing from Oregon and California.

Some of the best rooms are rumored to go for about $30,000 a night, so we don’t blame you if you never make it to the tower. That’s alright. You can always visit Hawaii or just whip up a resort drink from the comfort of home. That way, you won’t even have to get dressed.

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
Does wine go bad? It’s not quite as simple as you may think
How long can you keep that bottle of wine for?
Red wine swirling in glass

Wine tends to not stick around very long in my house. Generally, if I've purchased a bottle, that bottle is gone within a day or two. And no, as much as I may fantasize about one day owning my own medieval wine cellar, that dream has yet to come to fruition. Having said that, I understand that there are those with more self-control than I who may be wondering how long they can hold on to their wine, be it opened or unopened.

If you've ever picked up an old bottle of wine and wondered if it's still good, we've got you covered. Figuring out which wines age well, which wines don't, and how long you can keep an open bottle of wine are all questions with complicated answers.
How long is wine good for unopened?

Read more
The best beer destination in Europe is not what you think
You'll be surprised to learn the top beer city in Europe
Beer

While beer is a big deal in the United States, it’s only been going through a boom for the last few decades. While there are well over 9,000 breweries currently operating in the country, back in 1988, there were only 100 craft breweries in the US. That’s a massive shift in beer’s popularity in 35 years.

Europe, on the other hand, has brewing traditions that extend for hundreds of years. While the US has only existed as a country since 1776, Germany’s Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in the heart of Bavaria has been brewing beer since 1040. That’s a staggering 700 years longer than the US existed as a country.

Read more
Yes, tomato wine is a thing
Would you try it?
Tomatoes on vine in a bowl

It should go without saying that wine is most often made with grapes. We love them all, from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon to Malbec. There are countless delicious grape varietals that produce beautiful wines, and we are big fans of the wine grape. But while the grape is the most commonly used fruit in wine production, it isn't unheard of for a particularly scrappy vintner or winemaker to experiment with other fruits and ingredients. Moira Rose Fruit Wine, anyone?

Of course, these bottles are nowhere near as popular or well-known as grape wine varieties, but there are some on the rise that have piqued our interest. While some varieties sound simply atrocious, like jalapeno or mushroom wine, there are some that sound like they could actually be pretty delicious. Tomato wine, for example, has us especially intrigued. If you're anything like us, the very first thought of tomato wine immediately invoked a craving for a good Bloody Maria. Spicy and peppery with ripe, sweet notes of juicy tomato, tenderly and expertly nursing that stubborn hangover. The truth is, we were completely off base, and tomato wine isn't like this spicy cocktail at all. So, what is tomato wine?
What does it look like?

Read more