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How to Build a Wine Cellar: Basic Info You Should Know

Feb 25, 2008
If you are one of the many people around the globe who are passionate about wine you may be wondering about having a wine cellar built in your home. There are many reasons you might want to do this. Some people just want a place they can store some wine for a few years until the wine has aged. Whilst there are others who view wine as an investment just like stocks and shares. It's amazing just how much wine can increase in value over a couple of decades.

Whatever type of drinker of buyer you are, building a wine cellar can really add to your home. The problem with wines is that they don't keep for forever and a day. To keep them in peak condition you need to provide the best possible conditions. These conditions should be dark and cool. Some cellars that are built underground naturally have these qualities. However if they don't you need to buy some equipment to allow you to control conditions much more easily.

You will find that most quality restaurants and hotels have wine cellars however there is no reason why you can't have one too. You just need to be aware of a few things as listed here:-

It's important you have an idea of where you are going to build your cellar. You don't need a huge space, a room of about 3 x 3 x 3 meters will be sufficient. The most ideal location is in your basement however for larger homes you can build one wherever you want pretty much.
To help keep the temperature at the optimum level you need to ensure you have plenty of insulation. The insulation will work in much the same way as an insulated cool bag. You will require R-11 for inside walls and R-19 for outside walls. If your cellar is going to be built in the basement you need to see about a vapour barrier and concrete sealant for the flooring. For the vapor barrier you would use a polyethylene plastic sheet which is 6mm thick.

Because wines prefer cooler conditions you need to install a cooler. There are two types which have different benefits and minus points so you should look into this in detail before buying. Basically there are two types; standard and split. Standard systems are cheaper and easier to install but the downside is their lifespan; it's only about 5 or 6 years. The split system is the opposite; it costs more and needs to be fitted by a professional however it lasts a lot longer.

The type of door you choose for your cellar is also very important; it should be insulated, sealed, windowless and solid. Wooden doors are not suitable because they don't insulate well.

Because you need to be able to see when you are in your wine cellar, lighting is need however you need to also be aware that lights can damage the wine. Therefore it's best to install dimmer switches so have better control over the intensity of light.

The flooring you choose for your cellar should be hard, for instance, stone, slate or tile. Do not even consider installing carpeting

So whether you have a relatively small collection of wine bottles or enough to supply a small hotel, building your own wine cellar can make a great addition to your home.
About the Author
April Kerr often writes articles for food and wine site which also has articles relating to how to send a wine tasting party invitation and how to build a wine cellar.
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