by Bruce Barone, Jr., Executive Director, Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID)

There is always an idea that comes along and you ask yourself, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”  That’s certainly the case of Carl’s Wine Vault, a concierge-level storage for Naples residents’ and businesses’ rare and valuable wine collections.

Although located on the East Trail, Carl’s maintains its business offices on Fifth Avenue South.  The brain-child of Rachel Keller and her husband Dana Sjostedt, Carl’s Wine Vault is an 11,000 square-foot Fort Knox, lock-down for wine connoisseurs who want to know their valuable vino is safe, secure and at their beck and call.

When asked how they saw the need for a full-service wine vault, Keller said, “If you look at our city and the number of residents who are wine aficionados, the number of wine clubs in Naples and country clubs, and the thousands of bottles that were lost in the last hurricane, it just made sense.  People need a spacious and secure environment where they can store their wine and not worry.  At Carl’s, it really is a vault.”

And she’s right.  Carl’s offers more than just storage.  The security system is state-of-the art with 125 cameras and multiple security entry points before you can reach the individual cellars or commercial storage.   The facility includes 75 cellars for private collections and an additional 7,500 square feet for commercial clients.  A controlled temperature of between 55-59 degrees and appropriate humidity are monitored electronically around the clock, and an alert system is in place should something go wrong, as well as a system to assure that redundancies kick in if needed.  The building is rated for category five force hurricanes, and individual cellars are on the third floor to protect against flooding.  A back-up diesel generator and a Tesla battery back-up solar system, powered by solar panels located on the building’s roof, stand ready if needed.  The solar system is the only one of its kind in Florida.

The business’ concierge service includes pick-up and delivery, valuations, inventory management solutions, shipment receipt and acceptance, wine acquisition and divestment and a 24-hour call service and access to Linda Lesh, Director of Client Services for Carl’s.

According to Lesh, Carl’s welcomes small to large collectors, but also works with restaurants, distributors, auction houses, country clubs and any business that is looking for a controlled and secure environment to store their individual bottles or multiple cases.

So, just how many bottles of wine can Carl’s Wine Vault hold?   The residential side can accommodate close to 71,000 bottles and the commercial section slightly more than 305,000 bottles.  The Vault’s total capacity is more than 376,000 bottles of wine.

The commercial section of the Vault is also modular where typical 10’X10’ storage areas can be easily converted to 10’X20’, if a client needs the extra space.

Keller says, “While some of our stored collections are worth millions of dollars, we also provide recommendations to anyone who is a beginner collector wanting to build a valued collection. And since wine just naturally brings people together, we are planning a number of wine-related events, including tastings, for our existing clientele as well as those who have expressed an interest in our services.” 

Carl’s Wine Vault is named in honor of Dana’s Dad Carl Sjostedt, who served in World War II.  Carl Sjostedt spent years fighting in the 10th Armored Division of Patton’s Third Army. Through difficult weather conditions, impossible odds, and more, Carl risked his life to protect his fellow soldiers and loved ones. His heroic actions earned him a Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart.  “We couldn’t be prouder to name the wine vault after him.  He has and will continue to be our inspiration by the way he served this country,” said Dana.

It doesn’t hurt that the husband-and-wife team also possess the right combination of skills to make Carl’s a success.  Sjostedt is a prominent hotel developer, including the Hyatt House in Naples, and Keller’s career has been in marketing and concierge services for high-wealth clients. 

Ever the entrepreneurs, Carl’s owners have extended their concierge service to private planes and yachts.  Why worry about selecting the appropriate wine for a special flight or cruise when you can just have it delivered to the tarmac or berth and then you’re on your way.

And what if you aren’t a wine drinker but do love a good Scotch.  Rest assured there’s a safe and secure space for your 30-year-old Balvenie at Carl’s in the Vault’s rare and valuable sprits section.

Now why didn’t I think of that!!  To learn more visit

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