What You Need To Know Before Installing A Wine Cellar

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If you’re a wine lover and enjoy cultivating a fine wine collection, you owe it to yourself to have a top-of-the-line wine cellar in your own home. Despite popular belief, you don’t even need to have a sprawling space to house your vino; whether you have a spacious country home or an urban loft, you have plenty of room for a stylish, climate-controlled cellar in which to store your collection. But if this is your first time having a wine cellar built, there are a couple of important points you need to know first. Here are a few action items and questions to keep front of mind:

Choose the Right Space

A wine cellar doesn’t need to be immensely spacious, as bottles are typically stacked vertically in custom cabinetry. However, the space should be located in an area that doesn’t see any natural light, as light rays can penetrate the glass of wine bottles, changing the chemical makeup of your wine. This is one of the reasons why basements often make for fantastic wine cellars.

Order a Custom Design

Some people prefer wine cellars to be small and efficient, while others gravitate toward more elaborate designs that include spaces for additional decor. Many homeowners choose to intersperse their wine shelves with granite countertops on which to display bottles, books and art. Since every wine cellar is unique in terms of its square footage and layout, you’ll want to collaborate with a designer who has experience creating custom cellars.

The wine cellar at 11222 Chalon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (Image courtesy of Joyce Rey)

The wine cellar at 11222 Chalon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (Image courtesy of Joyce Rey)

Think About Your Door

While glass doors on wine cellars can be impressive (they give you a chance to showcase your collection to guests), think carefully about the door you attach to your cellar. Glass doors should be thick and (at least 10 millimeters) have a quality seal around their frame.

Regulate Temperature and Humidity

A good wine cellar regulator unit will control not only the temperature of your cellar, but also the humidity. The going numbers tend to be 55 degrees with 70 percent humidity. An air conditioner and humidifier will not work, as they only kick in once temperatures and humidity levels drop or rise away from a certain point. A professional-grade wine cellar cooling unit is a must.

Add Lighting

Finally, if it matches your style, add some pizzazz to your cellar with recessed lighting and perhaps a chandelier. Not only do these touches set the space apart, they make it extra pleasant for you to enjoy while selecting your next bottle of vino. Cheers!

Top image of the wine cellar at  357 West 17th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan, NY 10011 (courtesy of Tomer Fridman)

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