February 11, 2019

Pentridge Cellars: Room for 2000 colourful inmates

David Ellis

NO doubt the crims who once occupied the cells of D Division in Victoria's tough Pentridge Prison had plenty of colourful names they associated with the D in their block's identification – and most of which, as a family publication, we shouldn't even contemplate printing here.

But today that D could well be for Drinks, as these cells take-on a new lease of life as cellars, would you believe, for those with an appreciation of fine wines.

And it's thanks to a couple of enthusiasts, Paul Tardivel and Michael Woodworth who've recently acquired a string of the old Remand Cells at Pentridge, that closed as a prison some 20-odd years ago.

Cells that once played home to such crooks as Squizzy Taylor, Chopper Read, Christopher Flannery and Ronald Ryan to name a few.

Share a drop with Mark 'Chopper' Reid whose ghost may still haunt Pentridge prison. Source: News Limited

Paul and Michael believe that with their 500mm (nearly 20-inch) bluestone walls, these cells are perfect for storing wines at stable temperatures, and are now fitting them out with appropriate racking, ambient lighting, and security including CCTV.

Each 3m-by-2m cell-cum-cellar can house up to 2000 bottles, dependent on the racking chosen, and Paul and Michael have also installed back-up state-of-the-art climate control to ensure best, constant year-round temperature and humidity.

"We're anticipating high interest from those who may have downsized to inner city apartments and consequently lost cellars within former, larger suburban family homes," Paul says. "And with Pentridge's unique thick stone structure, you would think it had been purpose-built for this second life now as wine storage."

Prices start from $115,000 with each cell-cum-cellar having strata title and 24hr swipe-card access. Plus owners will be able to showcase and taste their collections with personal guests whenever they wish, and share a planned communal area to muse over their wines with other cellar owners.

For more details, pentridgecellars.com



WHAT would the likes of Squizzy Taylor, Chopper Read, Christopher Flannery and Ronald Ryan think if they turned-up at their old Pentridge Prison remand cells today, and found them stacked to the ceiling with 5-star wines?

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