A homemade wine cellar can be a beautiful spot to store and protect your wines. However, you want to make sure that you build it right. Keep reading to learn some tips for creating a homemade wine cellar that will keep your wines safe and be a luxurious addition to your home.
Key Wine Cellar Elements
Before you start building, you need to know the key elements of a wine cellar. If your wine cellar doesn’t have these elements, it won’t be safe for your wines.
- Temperature and humidity control: your wine cellar should stay between 45–65
- degrees Fahrenheit and have between 50–70 percent humidity.
- Lighting: too much light can degrade your wine, so your cellar should stay in semi-darkness.
- Storage: your cellar should have space for wine racks so that you can store your wine horizontally, keeping the cork moist and preventing too much air from contacting the wine.
- Stillness: vibrations can disturb the maturation process of your wine, so put your cellar away from areas that cause structural vibrations, such as washing machines and stairs.
The first steps of construction are rather simple. Whether you’re converting an existing room into a wine cellar or building a new one, check the area for air, water, and light leaks. To keep your wine safe, you have to control the temperature, humidity, and light, so making sure there are no leaks is an important step.
The next steps are more labor-intensive. Start with a sealed concrete floor to prevent moisture from coming through. For the walls, install a vapor shield and furring strips before your insulation to better control temperature and humidity. Drywall and electrical wiring come next. After that, select an exterior grade door that is at least 1 ¾ inches thick and will allow you enough room to apply weatherstripping and a proper threshold. Check for any air leaks before moving on.
These later steps are mostly cosmetic but still necessary. Paint or finish the cellar walls, allowing the space to fully air before installing your cooling system and bringing in the wine. Your wine cellar cooling system should have a thermostat, monitoring capabilities, backup power, and a refrigerant to keep your cellar cool. Once you cool the space, you can install storage racks, arrange furniture, decorate, and bring in the most important element: your wine.
If you keep these key elements in mind, do all the right pre-construction checks, build appropriately, and finish strong, you can have a secure and beautiful wine cellar. These are the most basic tips for creating a homemade wine cellar, but they are important and will allow you to safely add this luxurious element to your home.