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How to Create a Wine Barrel and Bottle Fountain

Create a one-of-a-kind focal point for your backyard or patio using a wine barrel or cask and an empty bottle of your favorite vintage.

Darien Ball, Biltmore Estate and Winery

Materials Needed:

  • clean, empty wine bottle
  • electric water pump (powerful enough to pump water from reservoir to top of barrel)
  • A large cork such as a champagne cork
  • hand-held drill
  • wine barrel
  • ceramic or glass drill bit
  • circular saw
  • wood shims
  • reservoir that is wider than barrel (terra-cotta, plastic or metal basin)
  • spirit level
  • protective gloves and eyewear
  • 5/8" plastic tubing (slightly longer than the height of the barrel)
  • 5/8" plastic splicer

Drill Hole in Wine Bottle

Drill as large a hole as possible in the bottom of wine bottle using ceramic or glass drill bit. Tip: To prevent the drill bit overheating, it's helpful to have a second person spray the rotating bit with water while drilling. Another option is to fill the dimple in the bottom of the bottle (if present) with water to keep drill bit wet. Drilling a hole in glass can be tricky and will require patience; you may not be successful with the first bottle. Always use safety glasses and gloves in this process.

Drill Hole in Barrel and Cork

Using a wood drill bit, drill a hole in top of barrel slightly smaller than the cork. Plumbing for the pump will come through this hole, creating the fountain, so be sure to center the hole exactly or the completed fountain will look off-center. Drill a hole 5/8" through the cork to accommodate the 5/8" splicer.

Cut Hole Then Insert Pump

Flip barrel over. On bottom of barrel, cut a square that is slightly larger than fountain pump with circular saw. Insert the pump into the bottom of barrel and attach the hose. Drive the cork/hose assembly into the top hole as tightly as possible. Trim cork flush with top of barrel — if left protruding the bottle will not sit properly.

Place Barrel in Reservoir and Check Level

Place barrel in reservoir. Fill reservoir with water and plug pump into electrical outlet. Watch water flowing out of barrel, it should pour evenly off all sides of barrel. If necessary, level barrel base w/ wood shims until barrel is level and water flows evenly off all sides.

Postition Wine Bottle

Finally, place hole in bottom of wine bottle directly over hole in top of barrel. It's not necessary to secure the bottle further; the force of the water should fill it and flow out the neck.

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