The Ultimate in Home Wine Storage
If you already own (or plan to have) an extensive wine collection you may want to consider investing in a custom wine cellar to ensure large storage space, suitable storage conditions and unique decor.
There are many custom wine cellar manufacturers that help you to build your wine cellar from the first steps till finishing your project:
- planning and design your wine cellar,
- selecting the right equipment and accessories (cellar cooling system, wine cellar door, racking system etc.).
Why not just set up wine racks whereever you have room for it in your home?
Even if you don’t have extensive knowledge about wine storage you should know the three most important factors that are required for proper way of storing wine:
- proper temperature (55-58 ºF), and
- humidity (55-75 %)
- relative darkness – direct sunlight more, precisely UV light exposure, can spoil wine.
A climate-controlled home wine cellar ensures proper wine storage conditions – constant cool temperature and humidity level with the least fluctuation – and you won’t have to worry about whether your precious reds will go off during hot, dry summer days.
Benefits of Custom Wine Cellars
- With a custom wine cellar you’ll have ideal and decorative storage space for your growing wine collection – you always have a a wide selection of your favorite vintages on hand.
- You can stock up on special wines when you find a good deal.
- You can experiement with aging – some wines reach their full potential after several years of maturation within proper condititons – for which a properly constructed wine cellar is the best storage place.
- A home wine cellar will be a nice place to invite over friends and family for wine tasting sessions.
- A home wine cellar increases the value of your home should you want to sell it later on. Photo: courtesy of www.vintagecellars.com
When Building Your Own Wine Cellar You Have Two Options:
Doing from scratch: in this case you oversee and manage the whole cellar construction process including planning, design, choosing a cooling unit, and racking.
If you’re a builder you can do it all on your own or ask friends and family to help, but if you don’t have construction experience you have to look for contractors to do the work.
This can be a very frustrating process
Hire a Custom Wine Cellar Manufacturer – there are many wine storage system specialists throughout the US offering a wide selection of cellar options.
The variety of customization options and custom accessories they offer is also huge (custom wine racks, floor tile, murals, display shelves etc.).
Hiring a custom wine cellar specialist is a pricey undertaking but if you have the necessary space in your home and the budget, and if you want to pursue your wine collecting hobby seriously – perhaps experimenting with aging – then having your tailor-made wine room will be a rewarding investment.
Steps of Building a Custom Wine Cellar
Before rushing out to buy the necessary wine cellar equipment you need to think through the whole project.
- Deciding on the location of your wine cellar in your home – to save on the ongoing maintenance cost of your wine cellar you should place it in the coolest and most humid part of your home. This way you’ll need a smaller size (and cheaper) cooling unit.
- Consider also the size of your cellar: how large storage space will you need for your current wine collection?
- Try to assess your wine buying habits to ensure you’ll have a big enough room to grow your collection of wines.
- The 55 – 58ºF temperature and 55 – 75% relative humidity are ideal for long term wine storage in wine cellars.
- Although you might be tempted to set up wine racks where you have the most space (pantry, under the stairs, attic, closet) you might not be able to ensure the cool and relatively humid environment necessary for preserving the quality of your wines.
- The most suitable place for a custom wine cellar is usually the basement. You’ll need r30 insulation walls and ceiling to keep the cooling unit from running constantly as well as vapor barriers to prevent molding.
- The vapor barriers are recommended to be mounted on the warm side (the exterior of the walls) of the cellar.
Think about the design of your wine cellar:
- racking system – redwood or mahogany are the best for wine cellar racks since these wood types are moisture resistant thus won’t rot in the damp cellar.
- lighting – low intensity, recessed lighting, avoid fluorescent lamps
- flooring, – Do not use carpet floor or rugs! It will most definitely mold and mildew due to the cool, humid climate of the cellar. Cork floor or flooring from reclaimed wine barrel wood are popular and elegant choices. Photo: courtesy of www.apexwinecellars.com
- display shelf,
- tasting area
- Choosing a cooling system – the cooling system will be the core of your wine cellar, it has to be selected carefully considering the size, the location, the thermal insulation of the cellar. Read more about buying a wine cellar cooling system, and a review on the CellarPro Cooling Unit
- Choosing the cellar door – if the cellar is equipped with a cooling system an exterior-grade (1 3/4″) door with airtight seal is recommended to keep the cool air inside the cellar.
- A treshold or “bottom sweep” also increases thermal insulation. You can have a solid door or a glass door but there are many other door styles: wrought iron, etched glass.
- If you opt for a glass door or partially glass door (glass insert wine cellar doors look very nice) it has to be double pane and tempered to prevent warm outside air from getting inside the cellar.
Choosing a Custom Wine Cellar Builder
When searching for a custom wine cellar manufacturer try to look for one in your area so that you can consult with their designers and experts and to be able to see the cellar equipment in person.
Since constructing a residential wine cellar is becoming more and more popular there are many custom wine cellar specialists in the USA.
Here are some trusted companies renowned in the field of home cellar construction:
- Wine Cellar Innovations – Wine Cellar Innovations was established in 1999 (the company looks back to longer history till 1985-87 but it was renamed to Wine Cellar Innovations in 1998) in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a leader in custom wine cellar design and manufacturing, Wine Cellar Innovations is a dedicated large company operating on 350 000 square feet and employing around 320 people. They have sales representatives throughout the US and in Toronto, Canada.
- Vigilantinc – the New Hampshire-based company was founded in 1995. Vigilantinc uses the highest quality of materials and level of craftmanship in manufacturing their versatile products including wine storage, cigar room and gun storage equipment.
- Wine Enthusiast – founded in 1979 the company started as a mail order business endevaour but it quickly developed into one of the largest supplier of wine accessories including electric wine refrigerators, furniture style wine storage cabinets and custom wine cellar design. Read reviews of some popular Wine Enthusiast wine cooler refrigerators.
- Vinotemp – another well-known company in the wine storage and wine accessory market which also offers custom wine cellar services.
It pays to compare the services and possible discounts each company offers. e. .g free CAD design, custom quote.
TIP: if you do not want to bother with building your cellar consider buying a Walk-in Wine Cellar like GE Monogram’s Walk-In Wine Room. These wine rooms consists of prefabricated elements that are fairly easy-to-install.
How Much Custom Wine Cellars Cost
Depending on your requirements, price of a complete custom wine cellar starts from around a couple of thousand dollars (USD) and the sky (and your budget) is the only limit.