Creating a Cellar


The idea of creating your own cellar is an attractive one and a labour of love for many. I look forward to the day when I can walk into my own cellar of thousands and choose wines from around the world. Owning fine wine is expensive, and can be susceptible to poor storage conditions. The best conditions for aging wines are the sort of conditions found in underground cellars. Old bottles of fine wine can be very fragile compared with younger wines. Wine labels deteriorate, and temperature and humidity effect wine if they are not monitored properly. Wine develop well in cellars that maintain a constant year-round temperature of around 10–13 ºC, and which are dark and have no noise vibration.

Cellar of Mas de Cadenet Provence
Cellar of Mas de Cadenet Provence

My belief is that wines that have cork as there closure are best for aging in a temperature-controlled cellar. The method of having the wines in horizontal storage and at a constant 12 ºC with normal humidity has been documented as the best conditions for cellaring. Humidity is an important factor when creating a cellar. Humidity damage labels, but humidity has its pros; it helps keep the cork in good condition.

 

When creating your cellar, space is paramount. You could consider building your own walk-in cellar. First, you need to create the space, a cave like cellar under ground is best, but a small room could be used as an option. People who begin to create their cellar usually underestimate how their cellar will grow, and what sought of space is required to house a home cellar. It is wise to build larger than what you think is necessary. You then need to make sure the room is well insulated. Once this is set up, you need to measure the temperature and humidity. If the stats indicate that the temperature changes dramatically, a conditioning system could be needed.

Cellar of Chateau Vignelaure Provence
Cellar of Chateau Vignelaure Provence

Wine cabinets are another option to store wine, and probably the most affordable. Wine cabinets are sold in many different shapes and sizes, and range in price from cheap to rather expensive. The middle quality wine cabinet offer specialized cabinets that are designed to cope with adequate wine storage, and the finish of the cabinets look good enough to have them placed in living areas of homes. One final suggestion is to keep a record of what you’ve put where. This saves a lot of time later on when you own more bottles in the cellar. Below are a few links to cellar related websites offering good quality products and service.

 

Cellar Works

http://www.cellarworks.com/

 

Vintage Keeper
www.vintagekeeper.com