Reclaiming oak wine barrels

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton

I met Peter Sandvig recently in his garage turned workshop at his Woodinville home.

As he says, “I’m semi-retired.” He was in the “fish business” all his life and has now found a new calling creating furniture that could easily pass as art in some circles. He also works at McClendon’s in the garden shop in case his photo accompanying this article looks familiar.

Sandvig has started Woodinville Barrel Works where he takes authentic reclaimed oak wine barrels and creates some beautiful hand-crafted pieces that most certainty will find their way into many Woodinville homes and businesses in the coming months.

 FIRE PITWoodinville Barrel Works Fire Pit (Courtesy photo)“It started with spheres”, stated Peter. He’s referring to a hanging globe that uses the metal bands from the wine barrel that when connected, form into a sphere shape with the possibilities of lights in the middle.  His wife, Kathryn, saw a similar design and encouraged him to give it a try and create one for their home. From there Sandvig pulled apart the wine barrels and started creating hand-crafted pieces from every part of the barrel including the top, bottom, wood stays (the wood strips used to form the barrel), and the metal bands.

As he explained, “After a wine barrel imparts oak into fine wines, they lose the ability to do so after 3-5 years, and they start to leak.” This deems them unusable for wine and that’s when Sandvig steps in by giving those barrels new life.  As we all know, there isn’t a shortage of wineries in the area, and he works with many of the Woodinville wineries in finding barrels to use for his creations.

Every piece Sandvig makes is unique because every barrel is a little different. The width of the wood stays determine whether each can be best utilized to create such items as a candleholder, table, plant stand, or even a hammock (my favorite piece). The tops can be used for a table top, of course, but also as a clock face or lazy Susan. There were so many unique items that he had created and each one was reminiscent of the original wine barrel.

PETERPeter Sandvig with Woodinville Barrel Works (Courtesy photo)How does he come up with the ideas on what to make? He said “my wife has helped me with the creative side of the many pieces.”

Recently Icon Cellars in the Artisan Hill wine district of Woodinville gave Sandvig a used wine barrel and commissioned him to make a fire pit for their tasting room.  Jim Garner of Icon said “Peter [Sandvig] is a marvelous craftsman with a great eye for detail. His custom wine barrel fire pit has received rave reviews from all customers coming into the winery. It has added beauty to the ambiance at Icon Cellars.  I would highly recommend commissioning him.”
You can find Sandvig along with his wife at the Woodinville Barrel Works booth at the Woodinville Farmers Market starting May 5th when they open for the season.  You can also reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
See below for information on the Woodinville Farmers Market including the new 2018 location.

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