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5 points to consider when building a wine cellar

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modern wine cellar design

Designing and building a wine cellar isn’t as easy as it seems. It requires extensive knowledge about creating the perfect conditions for storing and aging wine. If you get it wrong, you could spoil your precious wine collection.

Thankfully, we’re here to help! In this guide, we’ll help you understand what you need to consider when building a wine cellar. By the end, you’ll have a stylish cellar that’s worthy of your prized collection.

Let’s begin!

modern wine cellar 3D rendering

What’s the purpose of building a wine cellar?

If you’re on the rocks about building a cellar, here are some reasons to take the plunge:

Gain ample space for your wine collection

Do you have a modest wine collection, but can’t add more bottles due to the lack of space? Then it’s a good time to invest in building a cellar. This will give you the freedom to store and collect hundreds of bottles of wine for many years to come.

Keep your wine in the best possible condition

A cellar is an ideal space for aging wine in a bottle. Wine is a fascinating drink – it evolves as the years go by.

If stored properly, good-quality wine can last a couple of decades. However, if wine bottles are stored out in the open or in a cooler, they can go bad within several months.

Make entertaining friends and family more convenient

It’s extremely convenient to have several bottles ready for when family and friends come over. With a wine cellar, you don’t need to run to the store every time you need to serve drinks to everyone.

Increase the value of your home

There’s a good chance that a wine cellar may increase the value of your home, especially if you’re planning to sell it to a high-end market. In fact, a cellar is considered a must-have for buyers who share the same interest. This is something to consider if you’re renovating for profit.

brick wine room

What to consider when building a wine cellar

1. Space and location

Contrary to popular belief, the best location isn’t always underground. In fact, if your basement has a low ceiling height and you live near a subway or the highway, having an underground cellar might not be the best choice for you.

The good news is, as long as the space is fully insulated, you can build a wine room or a cellar in other parts of your house. Ideally, you should have your wine cellar close to your kitchen or living room, so that you can create a seamless flow between these spaces when entertaining.

Generally, you should avoid putting your cellar next to a boiler or laundry room. The wine bottles can shake because of vibrations from boiler or laundry units, causing the drink to become less aromatic or acidic. Plus, the corks can absorb odours from these areas.

To find out how much space you need and the best location for your wine cellar, sign up and book a consultation with a designer or a drafting professional. They can provide helpful advice as to which part of your home would be best for your wine room or cellar.

underground wine cellar

2. Temperature and climate control in the wine cellar

The bulk of your cellar budget should go into purchasing an efficient temperature and climate control system. Without this, your wine will go bad quickly.

Wines should be kept at about 12 to 14 degrees Celsius with a humidity of 65% to 75%. Low humidity can cause the cork to get dry and crack, letting in oxygen and spoiling the wine. Meanwhile, in extremely humid conditions, labels can get mouldy and unreadable.

Even if you pick an underground space for your wine cellar, that doesn’t mean that the space will automatically be cool. The enclosed space can trap heat during the summer and get cold during the winter.

So, make sure you have a vent with a wine cellar conditioner that blows cool air into the wine cellar and pushes warm air out of the room. Keep a gap under the door to ensure the free passage of air.

Note that a standard air conditioner is not enough to handle the consistently low temperature in a wine cellar. Plus, they’re not designed to manage humidity. Specialty stores should carry wine cellar cooling units.

3. Thermal protection/insulation in the wine cellar

Proper insulation goes hand in hand with your air conditioning system. Without it, your air conditioning unit needs to work twice as hard to keep the temperature at optimal levels.

One common mistake is assuming that double-brick walls would provide ample insulation for your private cellar. Even with these walls, you need insulation foam on the warm side of the walls and ceiling.

If you plan to use glass, make sure that it’s double-glazed and argon-filled. Single-glaze will not provide enough insulation.

4. Wine rack and stacking system

Wine racks can be made from wood, glass, or metal. You can choose to have racks for individual bottles, tilted racks for presentation, or diamond cubes for bulk storage. These typically come in modular pieces for easier assembly.

After you’ve figured out these details, it’s on to the fun part: organising your wine collection! There are several ways you can do this, such as:

  • Organise by year
  • Organise by brand/country of origin
  • Organise by wine type

In general, you can fit about 100 wine bottles per square metre. Depending on how many bottles you would like in your collection, this should give you a good idea of how much space you need. 

A reliable building designer or drafting professional should be able to create technical drawings for your custom wine rack or stacking system.

wine bottles in diamond racks

5. Look and feel of your wine cellar

Choosing the right finishes for your wine cellar is crucial to its success. Here are some suggestions to consider:

Flooring: Flooring should be made from materials that are resistant to moisture. We suggest hardwood, brick, stone, and tile.

Lighting: It’s important to have soft lighting inside your wine room so you can clearly read labels and proudly display your collection. Go for low-voltage or LED lights, since these bulbs don’t emit too much heat. Make sure to choose low UV lights since this can prematurely age the wine.

Doors: The doors should be well-insulated to ensure that the temperature inside the cellar stays consistent. You can use wood or glass, depending on your preference.

How much does it cost to build a wine cellar?

Building a private wine cellar in Australia can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000*, depending on the size of the area, the finishes you choose and the racking systems you prefer. Insulation and glazing may drive up the costs, as well.

Keep in mind that these rates are only rough estimates. If you want a clear idea of how much it costs to build a custom wine cellar at your house, request a free quote. You can also use our award-winning platform to find the perfect building designer or drafting professional for your cellar.

5 cool wine cellar ideas

Although there are several technical considerations when building a wine room, you can still design the area according to your taste and personal aesthetic. Here are some cool ideas to inspire you:

1. Add a bar area in your wine cellar

Add a bar area in your wine room so you can have a space where you can sit, relax, and have a brief wine tasting session.

2. Install French doors in your wine cellar

Give your cellar a grand entrance by installing French doors. These doors will set the tone for the rest of the space.

French doors in wine cellar

3. Put the wine labels on display

Traditionally, wine bottles are stacked on their side so that the liquid touches the cork and prevents it from getting dry. However, if you have bottles with screwcaps or glass/plastic corks, this isn’t necessary. 

These bottles can be stored upright so you can put their labels on display. That way, you can proudly showcase your rarest and most precious bottles.

4. Experiment with lighting in your wine cellar

A wine cellar doesn’t always have to be dark and dingy. With the help of a skilled designer, you can experiment with lighting concepts without dampening the quality of your wine.

wine cellar with neon lighting

5. Use modern wine racks in your wine cellar

The traditional wooden wine rack is gorgeous, but you can also use more modern glass racking systems. These modern racks can also prevent your cellar from being too dark and dreary.

Build a custom wine cellar now

With a custom wine cellar, you can have enough space to collect as many wine bottles as you’d like. If designed and built correctly, the cellar should keep your bottles in good shape for as long as possible.

If you’re looking for a reliable and knowledgeable building designer or a draftsman who can help design your dream wine cellar, Superdraft can help! We have a network of thousands of skilled professionals who have the qualifications for the job. We can also help you coordinate your project from start to finish.

Sign up for our free platform now!

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