Innovative design for cellar door at Broke by using shipping containers

DISTINCTIVE: The cellar door complex at Running Horse Vineyard, Broke constructed from six shipping containers.
DISTINCTIVE: The cellar door complex at Running Horse Vineyard, Broke constructed from six shipping containers.

The versatility of the humble shipping container has been showcased at a Hunter vineyard with six of the beasts turned into a state of the art cellar door and office complex.

Running Horse Vineyard at Broke is the location for this cost effective and innovative building option that provides a sweeping view over the vineyard towards the iconic Yellow Rock escarpment.

By using shipping containers vineyard owner David Fromberg found not only a cost effective method to build a two storey complex to capture spectacular views he also created an eye catching cellar door that is proving to be a popular wine tasting destination in the Broke-Fordwich district.

VIEW: The cellar door complex at Running Horse Vineyard, Broke. Photograph supplied Jacob Rioden.

VIEW: The cellar door complex at Running Horse Vineyard, Broke. Photograph supplied Jacob Rioden.


His friend David Kauntiz from the award winning Kaunitz Yeung Architecture designed the cellar door/offices  using two six metre and four 12m containers that David said were interesting in design and look due to the weathered steel exterior.

“David has worked on projects in remote locations in Australia  and overseas for UNICEF,” he said.

“We think our project is cleverly designed and makes the best used of these former shipping containers that are now insulated, connected and distinct.”

David’s family bought the 56 acre property in 1988 and vines including shiraz, semillon and verdelho covering 15 acres were planted in 2000.

Before taking on a career in the wine industry David was a jockey and his family bred racehorses thus the name of the vineyard – Running Horse.

David said the battle to keep under the then weight limit of 47kg as a jockey meant he needed to opt for a more suitable career although he still trains a few homebred horses and his front paddock contains an impressive set of starting gates carrying the wine label Running Horse as an advertising platform.

“I use the starting gates when I am training the horses so I guess that makes them dual purpose,” he said.

The Broke-Fordwich region may only be a short drive away from the hustle and bustle of Pokolbin the main tourist destination but it is without doubt the quieter or if you prefer more serene vineyard district. 

To provide a point of difference with his wines David said they sold aged wines with the current release coming from the 2005-2011 vintages.

“We produce wines that can age whereas many vineyards their oldest wines maybe say 2014 if you go wine tasting,” he said.

“At our place you can taste 13 year-old shiraz.”

Running Horse wines are made by Pokolbin based contract winemaker Nick Paterson.

And to showcase the unique colour of their aged wines is a beautifully lit glass bench top is a feature in the cellar door.

INNOVATION: Glass bench top is designed to showcase the colours of the aged wines.Photograph Jacob Rioden

INNOVATION: Glass bench top is designed to showcase the colours of the aged wines.Photograph Jacob Rioden

TRANSFORMED: A shipping container redesigned as a cellar door with great views towards Broke's Yellow Rock.

TRANSFORMED: A shipping container redesigned as a cellar door with great views towards Broke's Yellow Rock.