A Frenchman named Georges Harnois is credited with developing the first spiral cellar system in 1977. The idea was born out of the recognition that few modern houses had cellars, but the homeowners still wanted somewhere to store their wine. Harnois was inspired by the impressive Pont du Gard aqueduct, after a spiral staircase was installed to allow for access to the canal. According to the manufacturer of the Spiral Cellar, “One day, when passing the Pont du Gard by chance, the idea of a spiral staircase grew, and gave Georges the idea of storing wine in a circular fashion.
Upon his return home, he started excavation in his garage, by digging a well 2m in diameter. The walls of the hole were built of brick and a staircase of wood. A few test clients were invited to the demonstration site, and were seduced by the concept. Obviously the final construction could not be of wood, due to vibration, humidity, and wood mites. Two weeks later he had developed a system of modules and steps constructed of concrete with some assistance and research by experts in the field of concrete manufacture. He then selected a partner manufacturer, who were able to offer a production facility, and grew a distribution network of agents throughout France. And thus the spiral cellar was born.
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