Wine Cellars are the latest trend in luxury custom construction and renovation.
We’ve done several custom wine cellars for our clients, some the size of a closet or cabinet all the way to full rooms with tasting bars and inventory systems. But creating a wine cellar isn’t as simple as setting aside a room and putting in some shelves.
Here are our top tips for creating a cellar where you can collect and enjoy all of your favorite wines.
Heat & Humidity
When choosing the location of your wine cellar, keep in mind that wine will ideally be stored around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and at around 57% humidity with no direct sunlight. Choosing a place that can naturally create this environment will obviously save in maintenance, heating or cooling costs. Basements are usually a great choice but they can get damp and cold if not properly insulated or heated. Enclosing a space with a separate heating, cooling and humidity system may be necessary. A mini-split air conditioner and/or a specialty wine cooling system that removes humidity have been the solution for some of our clients.
Lighting is key in every space, but it needs special consideration in a wine cellar. Incandescent light bulbs may be too hot, especially when lighting is installed close to the bottles. LED lights are the way to go in a cellar. For those who dislike the cold, cool color LED lights give off, new options have come on to the market for warmer temperature bulbs. Consider overhead lighting as well as rack down lighting to display and easily see your favorite vintage. Also consider ambient lighting for any tasting space you’ve created in your cellar.
The lighting in this cellar elevates an already impressive space.
Store & Display
There are so many ways to store and display wine, but we prefer individual wooden rack storage systems. These systems allow air to circulate all the way around each bottle while making each one a showpiece at the same time. Wooden racks can be configured so that some bottles are tilted and displayed at a certain level. For bulk storage, diamond cubes can also be worked in, preferably at the bottom of a cellar, but this is not a great idea for long-term storage of bottles since air circulation is limited.
We prefer these individual wooden racks because they allow air to circulate all around the bottle.
When a wine cellar is not an option, built-in custom cabinetry serves as beautiful wine storage. A small, temperature and moisture adjustable refrigerator is great for wine and beer. Diamond cube storage holds plenty of wine while under-cabinet racks keep wine glasses out of the way.
Take Time to Taste
If you’re going to put the time, effort and square footage into a wine cellar, then consider giving the same attention to a tasting space. A comfortable area nearby where you can enjoy your wine will ensure that you get the most of your cellar. From a tasting counter built into the cellar to a full dining table or bar, we’ve done it all for our clients. Your decision should be based on how you image you’ll want to enjoy the wine. A tasting counter in the cellar is great if you see yourself taking a few sips while you work on your inventory. A sitting area for a group is great if you plan to open a bottle for friends regularly. Whatever way you do it, make sure you consider a place to enjoy in addition to a place to store.
This wine tasting area is great for a group of friends to open and enjoy a bottle together. Design by Jennifer Croston.Tags: basement, cellar, central Virginia, contractor, custom construction, custom homes, custom wine cellar, hanover, henrico, high end contractor, james city county, james river construction, luxury construction, luxury homes, mini split, Richmond, tasting room, tips, VA, Virginia, wine, wine cellar, wine collection, wine collector, wine inventory system, wine storage