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10 Things to Consider When Building a Wine Cellar

  1. Primary function of your wine cellar: Will your cellar be used primarily for storage or for entertaining? Determining the primary use of your cellar will help you select the design elements that best suit your needs.
  2. Cellar location: From basements to pantries to spare closets, wine cellars can be built in almost any space; however, keep in mind that the location you choose will have an impact on the cost of building and maintaining your cellar in the future.
  3. Building Materials: In order to maintain an environment between 55 - 58°F with 55 - 75% humidity, wine cellar walls typically require a thicker insulation, water-resistant dry wall, and other special building materials.
  4. Wine collection size and configuration: Do you have a lot of individual bottles or cases? Cases and bottles of different sizes will affect the bottle capacity and racking configuration for your cellar. Simply knowing what you have and what you plan to purchase will help you choose the type of racking that will maximize your space.
  5. Available racking materials: Wood is the most popular material used for racking; however, stone and metal are also viable options depending on the space available and décor chosen for the cellar.
  6. Wood racking options: Redwood, mahogany and pine are among the three most common wood choices for wine racks. Redwood is the standard choice due to its moisture and mildew resistance, mahogany is beautiful, durable and resistant to moisture and decay, while pine is the most economical choice.
  7. Wine cellar cooling systems: Depending on the location and size of your cellar, you may need to install a cooling unit. There are three main types of cooling systems: split-systems offer the most flexibility in size and installation options, thru-wall systems are self-contained and do not require a refrigeration technician for installation, and ducted-systems are the best option for an inconspicuous installation.
  8. Cellar door options and requirements: When choosing a wine cellar door, exterior grade is a must in order to keep the temperature and humidity levels consistent. Door accents such as dual-paned glass, iron decorations and various forms of security can also be considered to set the stage for your cellar and protect your collection.
  9. Personalized touches and decor: Lighting, flooring, countertops, wall coverings and even wine coolers are all options that you can use to quickly customize and personalize any cellar.
  10. Your budget: Arguably one of the most important things to consider when building a wine cellar is your budget. By using various materials and racking techniques, and with the help of your Apex Cellar Consultant, a stunning wine cellar can be created to fit any budget.