NO doubt the crims who once occupied the cells of D Division in Victoria’s tough Pentridge Prison had plenty of colourful names they associated with the D in their block’s identification.
But today that D could well be for Drinks, as these cells are about to take on a new lease of life as wine cellars.
It’s all thanks to a couple of enthusiasts, Paul Tardivel and Michael Woodworth, who’ve recently acquired a string of the old Remand Cells at Pentridge, which closed as a prison some 20-odd years ago.
The cells once played home to such crooks as Squizzy Taylor, Chopper Read, Christopher Flannery and Ronald Ryan, to name a few.
Paul and Michael believe that with their 50 centimetre bluestone walls, these cells are perfect for storing wines at stable temperatures, and are now fitting them out with appropriate racking, ambient lighting, and security, including CCTV.
Each three metre by two metre cell-cum-cellar can house up to 2000 bottles, and Paul and Michael have also installed back-up state-of-the-art climate control to ensure constant year-round temperature and humidity.
“We’re anticipating high interest from those who may have downsized to inner city apartments and consequently lost cellars within former, larger suburban family homes,” Paul says. “And with Pentridge’s unique thick stone structure, you would think it had been purpose-built for this second life now as wine storage.”
Prices start from $115,000 with each cell-cum-cellar having strata title and 24-hour swipe-card access. Plus owners will be able to showcase and taste their collections with personal guests whenever they wish, and share a planned communal area to muse over their wines with other cellar owners.