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Caves have long been recognized as the ideal environments for aging and storing wine. There are the aesthetic reasons - rows of stainless steel tanks are not the most picturesque additions to any landscape - and the costs of cooling them. Several Napa Valley wineries have been constructed underground including the Jarvis winery leaving its beautiful surrounds practically untouched.

" Jarvis' property lies in largely unspoiled countryside, and he and his wife didn't want to spoil the natural beauty of the area with large stainless steel tanks. He admits, however, "I wanted to have it all underground, and I was willing to pay what it took". Putting tanks underground required chambers much larger than the typical 12-foot by 12-foot tunnels that had been previously excavated for barrel aging. Fortunately, the timing was good, for geotechnical engineers at the University of California had just made great progress in computer calculations for large underground caves, work initiated for large underground spaces for testing nuclear bombs.

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