If you’re a true wine lover and have the capacity in your home for a wine cellar, what better way is there to store and show off an impressive wine collection?
You don’t need to have a basement or dig under your home to create a wine cellar, either. You simply need an extra room that can be framed, insulated, and cooled to create your very own cellar.
Get the complete rundown on what it takes to build your own wine cellar at home in this step-by-step guide.
Step 1: determine how you want to use your wine cellar
A wine cellar can be so much more than just a storage space, you can also use it to entertain guests, while beautifully displaying your collection.
If the intention for your wine cellar is to store wine, you can find unstained wooden racks at very affordable rates. However, if you want to be a little showier, you’ll need to establish a wine cellar budget.
Wine racks that are a little more aesthetically pleasing cost more. Then there’s also furniture and décor to consider if you plan on using it as an entertainment space. If you prefer the look of wood, go for a premium hardwood such as mahogany. Otherwise, metal variations are also chic and low-maintenance.
Step 2: create an optimal wine storage environment
Before you dive into this project, you’ll need to know what it takes to create the perfect environment for your wine. Your wine cellar temperature should sit at a constant 12-15 degrees Celsius, or 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is also important and should range between 70-75% relative humidity.
The best way to achieve this environment is with four critical components: insulation, a vapour barrier, an airtight seal, and a cooling system. It’s important to store your wine in a relatively dark room, too.
When it comes to insulation, it depends on the type of material used on the walls of your chosen room. Bear in mind that concrete walls do not provide a good level of insulation because of its very porous nature.
If you are using a basement to convert into a cellar, you’ll need to double the thickness of the concrete walls. A good way to achieve this is by adding a layer of poly-coating and rigid foam insulation for the ideal moisture barrier.
Insulation is rated by R-value. You want to go for an insulation minimum between R12 and R19. If your chosen wine cellar room shares an outside wall, you’ll need an R30 level of insulation for that wall.
2. Vapour barrier
This is an important element of your wine cellar as it helps to control the level of moisture and humidity inside the room. To create a vapour barrier, install 6mm polyethylene sheeting that must be wrapped around the outside of the wine cellar room.
3. An airtight seal
Your wine cellar should be completely airtight once the door is closed. This means that no air can enter or escape the room. To achieve this, start by installing weather-stripping and a door-sweep to your cellar door to prevent air from entering or escaping.
4. Wine cellar cooling
There are three variations of cooling to consider, depending on your cellar size and budget:
- Through-the-wall: this system is easy to install, cost-effective, and comes inside a self-enclosed case
- A split cooling system: this includes components that sit inside the wine cellar, and outside it. The components are connected by refrigerated lines and you’ll need a professional to install this system
- A ducted cooling system: the cooling unit is located remotely, while cool air is pumped into the cellar through air ducts. This is generally the most expensive type of cooling system and is suited for larger wine cellars
This is probably one of the most important elements of your wine cellar setup. Investing in the right cooling system helps you to save money, energy, and good quality wine in the long-run. It’s important to understand that what you pay for a cooling system directly correlates with its performance.
Step 3: invest in the right size and shape wine racks
Wine racks on the market today are available in a range of shapes, sizes, and materials. You’ll need to determine the right size, shape, and style for your cellar based on the available space you have. It also depends on your budget and the intended aesthetics of your cellar.
Some popular wine rack variations include:
1. Individual storage
As the name suggests, each bottle sits in its own storage cell, which is either single or double deep. This is probably the most popular form of wine storage.
These single cells accommodate magnums, Bordeaux, Champagne, and splits. The benefit of individual storage cells is that each bottle is secure and help in place for a neat, and orderly look.
2. Diamond bin
This is ideal for bulk storage of wine, plus a little extra character. Diamond bin storage offers a great range of flexibility because they can extend to accommodate all bottle sizes.
However, this type of storage is ideal for long-term storage, as the bottom bottles of wine are not as easy to access. While this wine storage option adds flair to your wine cellar, it is a little more precarious as bottles are resting on top of one another.
3. Stackable cube storage
This is a very convenient storage option if you don’t want to have anything permanently fitted or fixed to your walls. Each stackable cube is fitted with its own wine rack, which can generally house 12 bottles of wine per cube. The cubes can be placed on top of each other to create custom wine shelving that is easily moveable.
4. Table top storage
If your wine cellar is on the smaller side and you’re still building up your collection, table top storage is the way to go. These wine racks can be easily displayed on shelving and tables. They also include convenient spaces for your stemware, bottles openers, and decanters.
If custom-made wine racks are out of your price range, remember that you can save big on wine rack kits which are extremely popular and can be custom-configured to suit your needs.
Looking for home storage solutions?
Whether you’re looking for storage options for your wine cellar or other areas of your home, Compactor Store offers unique, flexible, and stylish storage solutions.
We believe that storage can double as decoration throughout your home. Explore our wine storage options here and bring your wine cellar design to life.