Welcome To Vigilant's Blog...

Our namesake the Baltimore Clipper Schooner, "Vigilant" sailed commercially on the world's oceans for over 130 years. For us here at Vigilant it represents superior design, durability, dependability and value. All of our wine cellars, wine racks, wine cellar doors, wine cabinets and lockers, custom cabinetry and millwork, and cigar cabinets that bear the Vigilant name are crafted with those values in mind. We build our products using the finest materials and craftsmanship for the enjoyment of our customers.

Which Cooling System is Right for Your Wine Cabinet Project?

Posted By on July 18, 2019

The question of “what type of cooling system should I use?” when choosing a wine cabinet can be intimidating.  We are here to put your mind at ease and provide you with an informative breakdown of our different applications. Our experts will talk you through the pros and cons of each unit until you land on the perfect solution for your wine storage project and your available space.  We offer three types of cooling Systems to choose from including Top Mounted, Remoted Ducted and Ducted-Split.

Top Mounted Cooling Systems

The top-mounted system option is the simplest to install and is the most affordable. This type of system is self-contained and sits directly on top of the cabinet. When using this type of system, the cabinet will have visible grills for the system to vent hot air exhaust. 


  • Cooling unit(s) mounted on top of cabinet(s)
  • Front or top vent
  • Most economical and easiest to install
  • No ducting or HVAC technician needed
  • Red and white wine temps


  • Venting required at cabinet(s) which may require grilles
  • System requires 20” of space above the cabinet lowering cabinet height and bottle capacity
  • Noise at cabinet(s) and into room is 40-55DB
  • Heat exhausts into room

Remote Ducted Cooling System

The remote ducted cooling system is a more aesthetically appealing option with no visible grilles on the wine cabinet. Since the system is located away from the cabinet, it allows for more vertical wine storage space. This option creates the perfect wine storage conditions with minimal noise and no heat exhaust at the cabinet.


  • Cooling unit(s) mounted within 20 feet of cabinet(s)
  • No visible grilles
  • No venting at cabinet
  • No noise or heat at cabinet(s)
  • Flexible installation options
  • No HVAC technician needed
  • Efficient and reliable climate control
  • Red and white wine temps


  • Must have area to run duct work
  • Duct work cannot exceed 25 feet of flex Duct or 50 feet of hard duct
  • More expensive option than top mount

Ducted-Split Cooling System

The ducted-split cooling systems are another appealing option that require no visible grilles.  This type of unit is highly adaptable, consisting of an evaporator unit that is separate from the condensing system. The evaporator is located on top or within 20’ of the cabinet and the condenser that exhausts the hot air is located up to 80’ away from the evaporator.  These systems are one of the quietest options with virtually no audible noise at the cabinet location.


  • Cooling unit(s) mounted on top or within 20 feet of cabinet(s)
  • Heat venting at remote condenser location
  • No grilles at cabinet location
  • Compressor mounted remotely
  • Minimal ducting and fan coil noise
  • Multi-panel easy access to electronics and controls
  • Red and white wine temps


  • May need area to run duct work
  • Duct work cannot exceed 25 feet of flex duct or 50 feet of hard duct
  • Most expensive option
  • Requires HVAC technician

Every wine cabinet project is different, and we understand the importance of finding the perfect cooling system solution for your needs. To learn more about all our available wine cabinet cooling systems visit us at vigilantinc.com or speak to one of our experts today at 1-888-812-4427.

8 Steps to Install a Vigilant Wine Cabinet

Posted By on April 24, 2019

Wine cabinet installation space

The space prior to installation.

Vigilant was offered the opportunity to design and construct wine cabinets for a high-end restaurant in Portsmouth, NH. Working with the project architects, we identified the client’s needs based upon the available space, storage capacity, cooling application and material requirements. After several design revisions, we created the perfect solution for their needs.

Upon client approval of the design, the Vigilant build team constructed the cabinets in eight sections and prepared them for shipment to the project site where the installation team took over. The team followed a step-by-step installation protocol to ensure that the cabinets perform properly for years to come.

Ducting connecting cooling system to the wine cabinet.

Ducting connecting cooling system to the wine cabinet.

Step One:  We reviewed the Vigilant-supplied shop drawings and mechanicals with the dimensions and electrical connections of the actual space to make sure that everything corresponded accurately.

Step Two: We marked all the stud locations, verified the locations of all the electrical outlets and ducting locations for the cooling system to avoid any mechanical problems after the cabinets were set in place. For this project, the client opted for a through-wall ducted system at one end of the installation, so we confirmed that the appropriate venting holes in the wall were there and located accurately. Some trimming of the drywall was required to get the ducting to fit.

Wine cabinet leveling legs

The leveling legs are adjusted through the bottom of the cabinet.

Step Three:  Using a laser and level we checked for any height discrepancies on the floor. We then marked the high spots on the floor and w a line across the wall to mark where all the cabinets would line up evenly and be free of any flooring irregularities. Since the flooring was a little uneven we used the adjustable leveling feet that Vigilant places on the bottom of all our wine cabinets to bring each cabinet to the level line.

Wine cabinet connecting

Clamps used to help fasten the adjacent cabinets together.

Step Four: We then applied caulking around the openings on the side of the first cabinet and carefully placed the second cabinet next to it. Before connecting the cabinets, we used the leveling feet to make sure the second cabinet was perfectly level and parallel to the first cabinet – checking that they aligned side to side and front to back. With the use of some clamps, we made some adjustments to the leveling feet on both cabinets and once we found the perfect fit, we used the supplied connector bolts to secure the cabinets to one another using the pre-drilled connector holes in the cabinets.

Step Five: We continued the installation by carefully adding the remaining cabinets in a similar fashion until they were all connected and secured to one another. The last cabinet was difficult to get into place due to the tight corner but with careful use of leverage and force we got it into place. We double checked to ensure all the cabinets were plumb and level, adjusting the leveling legs where necessary.  We snug-fit all four legs of each cabinet to the floor to ensure stability once loaded with hundreds of pounds of wine.

Step Six: We used the supplied large “L” brackets at the top of the cabinets to attach them to the wall at the marked stud locations.

Step Seven: We wired the lighting and fished the ducting from the end of the cabinet though the wall to the system. The cooling system in this application was placed in an adjacent room making it easy for the air to flow to and from the cabinet with the hot air exhausting away from the space.

slotted shelves for wine racks

Slotted shelves for wine racks

Step Eight: We installed the slotted wine bottle shelves using the supplied shelf pins and installed the diamonds bins and cubbies.  In doing so, we consulted with the bar manager to make sure all the shelves were located where she wanted them. This allowed the restaurant to organize the wine bottles in a functional way for their staff. The shelving for these cabinets accommodated 2,000 bottles of wine allowing the restaurant to offer one of the largest wine selections in the area.

After several hours of work the installation was complete. The restaurant was very pleased with the end result and they have been running smoothly for several years now. To learn more about Vigilant refrigerated wine cabinets or installation procedures, visit us online.

custom refrigerated wine cabinets

The final installed refrigerated wine cabinets


DIY: Creating an Under Stairs Wine Room

Posted By on January 7, 2019

These clients had been dreaming of creating a wine cellar but didn’t have a lot of extra space in their home. After doing a little research and assessing the spaces available, they chose to use the closet under their stairs. With a good amount of planning they decided to take on the build-out and installation process themselves.

wine cellar cooling system

Remote ducted cooling system located in basement.

They started by determining what type of cooling system would work for their under stairs wine closet. After talking to Vigilant about multiple options they decided on a remote ducted cooling system that could be housed in their basement. This type of system pumps cool air through ducts into the cellar and returns the warm air away from the wine room with minimal noise.

Wine cellar vapor barrier and insulation

Left: Vapor barrier for keeping out moisture Right: Insulation added to walls

Next, they removed the old drywall, so they could insulate the walls and include a vapor barrier to keep moisture out of the room. Using a polyurethane vapor barrier, they covered the walls, ceiling and floor to protect the room. Next, they inserted a high R value insulation to help with temperature control. Once the walls were insulated a plywood base was placed on the walls to securely apply their decorative wood paneling to.

Making the task a little more difficult was staining all the Vigilant wine racks. The homeowners wanted to match the wood paneling walls, so they opted to purchase the racking unfinished and stain and lacquer all the components themselves. Afterwards, the homeowners commented that they should have had Vigilant match their custom stain, it would have saved them a lot painstaking time.

Custom finish on wine racking

Custom finished wine rack

Once all the wine racking pieces were finished and dried, the homeowners assembled the racks. The racks were securely attached to studs to keep them from tipping over. For the focal point of the room the homeowners chose a 5 column bead board arch top above a table top that provides a surface for decanting and serving wine.

Bead board archtop

Bead Board Archtop with LED display lighting

Next, they added the LED display lighting. Each ladder rack comes with a high reveal row and a light valance piece to conceal the wiring for the lights. Once all the lights were installed it was time to stock the cellar. Each wine bottle was strategically placed to correspond to the bottle in the display row to make it easier for the homeowners to sort and organize their collection. The final capacity for the room is 581 wine bottles.

Before and After wine cellar door

Wine cellar door with sidelights

The last piece was installing the pre-hung Vigilant Full Glass Square Door and sidelights. The wine inside the room is beautifully displayed and visible from the entertainment room through the full glass paneled door and sidelights. The door and sidelights not only look stylish but feature fully insulated, argon filled, glass panels and exterior grade weather stripping to protect the wine from opposing elements.

Now that the room is complete the homeowners are really enjoying the wine cellar. They mentioned that all their friends and family are very impressed with the final result and their handiwork.

Finished wine closet

Finished wine closet

To learn more about Vigilant wine closets visit us online or call us at 1-888-812-4427 and let one of our design experts help you take the first step in making your wine cellar a reality! Also, check out our NEW 3D DIY Wine Cellar Planner tool to help you design your wine cellar. It’s easy, free and fun to use!

Stunning Wine Rooms and their Before and After Transformations

Posted By on October 18, 2018

At Vigilant, we believe any space can be turned into the wine room of your dreams. Whether it’s a closet, pantry, spare bedroom, office, you name it, we’ve created it.  Our design experts can maximize the number of wine bottles stored, even in the smallest spaces. Over the past few years, we’ve worked on some amazing projects all over the country. Check out the stunning results of these wine room transformations below.

Wine cellar transformationWe’ll start with a home in Manchester, Maine where the homeowners wanted to create a functional wine room and tasting area in their unfinished basement. By insulating the walls, ceiling and floor the room was ready for storage and a cooling system. The homeowners chose a through wall cooling system powerful enough to cool up to 2,000 cubic feet. The room holds over 1,700 bottles using Vigilant’s Mahogany individual bottle racking and diamond bin storage. Additionally, the wine room features a slatted archtop with installed LED lighting over a stone counter top, hanging stemware holders and a tasting table perfect for entertaining guests.

Before and After wine cellar doorUnder stairs wine closet transformationOur next stop is in Springboro, Ohio where the homeowner turned the extra space under their stairs into the perfect wine closet.  They insulated, dry-walled and assembled everything themselves. Through a Vigilant Full Glass Square Door and sidelights, the wine room creates a nice focal point to the living room. For storage, the room utilizes our Estate Mahogany ladder racking and beadboard archtop that holds up to 581 wine bottles. Keeping the room in perfect condition is a ducted cooling system with an integrated humidifier.

Corner turned wine closetNext, we’ll head to Elmhurst, Illinois where this homeowner built a small wine room from scratch in a corner of their basement. They framed, dry-walled and insulated the 43’’ by 50’’ space and installed a through wall cooling system. They used our standard Classic wine racking, assembling and installing everything themselves. The room features an exterior grade Vigilant Classic Arch Glass Door that preserves the perfect environment and protects the wine from the elements. The wine room can hold up to 355 bottles using diamond bins and individual bottle racking with a high reveal display row.

Pantry turned wine closetNext up, is a pantry turned wine room in a home in Northpoint, Florida. The 55’’ x 60’’ closet uses a remote ducted cooling system, ensuring the wine is stored at the perfect temperature. The wine room uses individual bottle racks, diamond bins and scallop shelving and is capable of holding up to 480 bottles.

Wine room conversionwine cellar

Lastly, we move to a new construction project where the homeowner’s wanted a space for their dream wine room. Using a Vigilant Arch Door with sidelights the wine room can be viewed from anywhere in the homeowner’s entertaining space. The wine room features a diamond bin, ladder racking and curved corner wine storage all made from Mahogany and finished in a custom stain and lacquer. The room is well insulated allowing efficient use of a through-wall cooling system to maintain the perfect wine storage environment.

As you can see the possibilities are endless and we’re always excited to take on a new challenge. To learn more about our wine rooms & closets visit us online our call one of our design experts at 1-888-812-4427.

Introducing Vigilant’s New Wine Cellar Door Offerings

Posted By on October 1, 2018

We’re excited to announce that we have three new wine cellar door offerings. After doing countless research and listening to our customer’s feedback we have come up with three new door styles, Provincial, Rustic and Tuscan – that we’re sure you’re going to love. They are pre-hung, exterior grade with solid mahogany jambs, weather stripping and high R-value insulated glass to efficiently insulate and maintain the perfect environment for storing wine.

Square Rustic Wine Cellar Door

Rustic Door with window and iron grate.

The Rustic door is an improved version of our old Piedmont door. This door is made from a solid wood frame and features a center panel with thick profile lines to give it a rustic look. Add a window with iron grate and metal clavos to give the door and even more rustic appeal.

Tuscan wine cellar door

Tuscan Wine Cellar Door

The Tuscan door has a wood framed, insulated glass panel on top and a solid wood, raised panel on the lower third of the door. The glass panel is overlaid with heavy mullions creating the look of smaller window panes. The Tuscan door’s argon filled, insulated glass panel helps to keep your wine cellar at the optimum temperature for aging your fine wine.

Provincial Wine Cellar Door

Provincial door with rosette applique

Lastly, is the Provincial wine cellar door. This elegant door has a full glass panel with a decorative mid-rail panel. The panel comes with your choice of ornamental appliques that include a rosette or grape design. For an added charge, you can also have a custom initial made. The full glass door gives you and your guests a stunning view into your beloved wine cellar.

All Vigilant doors are created from high-quality materials and use time-tested construction like mortise and tenon joinery making them strong and durable. We use high R-Value insulated glass to protect your prized wine collection from the opposing environment. Additionally, all our doors come Pre-hung in solid wood jambs, use 1 ¾’’ wood frames and a weather stripping seal. As a reminder all our doors can be customized to your exact specifications including size, material, finish color, hardware and more. To learn more about our new door offerings visit our wine cellar door page.