A wine cellar is the ideal way to allow your wines to age naturally while being protected from the elements. Although you cannot improve the quality of a bottle of wine with proper storage methods, a fine bottle can be ruined if it spends any amount of time under certain conditions. If you are planning on putting a cellar in your home, then take these factors into account:
1. Size: Think about how many bottles you will want to have in storage at any given time. It is likely that you will not ever have every single space on your wine racks filled because you will want to have room to add new bottles to your collection. Larger cellars can hold more than 6,000 bottles. Smaller collectors may find a conditioned wine cabinet that holds 100-200 bottles to be ideal.
2. Location: In building a climate controlled wine room, location isn’t an issue. The basement is a natural choice for building a cellar because it usually has the most available space. When building a cellar the most important aspect is the construction of the room. Walls need to be insulated to R-19, ceilings and floor (if applicable) to R-30. All surfaces need to have a 6 ml. vapor barrier (installed on warm side) and then sealed with an exterior grade or insulated glass door. Interior finished (wall color, tile, wood ceiling and racking) are designed to fit your personal needs and tastes. If you do not have a basement, then consider converting a pantry, spare bedroom or a section of a wall in a dining room or living room.
3. Materials: Many wine cellars are built from mahogany or redwood due to their rot resistant/mildew resistant qualities. Other woods such as walnut or teak may be used if the budget allows.. You might choose to have the wood finished or leave it unfinished for a natural look.
4. Climate control: The most important aspects of wine storage are temperature, and humidity. Natural sunlight can play a part in the environment, but most cellars are in closed off rooms and the use of residential lighting has insignificant effect unless you leave your lights on all day and night. In order to maintain 55 – 59 degrees and 60 – 70 % humidity, you should always consider temperature control to help stabilize the room environment. We have built many passive cellars but the conditions and construction for those rooms should be consulted and designed by a professional.
Vintage Makers can help you design the best wine storage to accommodate your collection and fit the needs of your home. We specialize in building and installing residential and commercial cellars. Call us at (888) 710-2053 to learn more about our services.