If you are able to establish a wine collection quicker than you drink it, then perhaps it is time to start thinking about designing a home wine cellar! Whether you only have a few bottles to store or you have invested in a notable collection of a few hundred, a beautiful wine cellar will ensure your wine investment stays fresh and looks the goods!
We’ve designed and constructed our fair share of wine cellars over the years, so this week we sat down with Darren to pick his brains on some of his tips and considerations when it comes to creating the perfect wine cellar ….
What makes a good wine cellar?
There are a couple of things… probably at the forefront is really understanding your environment. Depending on the humidity and temperature, you will need to ensure you customise the insulation to suit the environment. It really is crucial that you consider this early on in the planning phase to avoid costly mistakes.
Another important factor to consider is how you want the wine cellar to feel. Establishing this will ensure you set the right mood and tone for the space. Getting the balance right between lighting, placement of your wine bottles, storage vs display, and the right furnishing are key elements to a successful design.
I personally don’t like seeing cellars that are completely jam packed and busting at the seams. Too much can often mean you loose some of the beautiful features within the space. Also, making sure your wine bottles are spaced out correctly is super important.
Can you transform any space of my home into a cellar?
The short answer is yes! however it really depends on your budget.
What is the biggest no-no you have seen when it comes to wine storage in homes?
Storing wine in a rack next to the kitchen fridge (unless of course you never drink it – haha). No, seriously, this is the worse place to store it and never understood why designers or cabinetmakers positioned it there?!
Would you recommend custom joinery or modular?
I love custom, because it means that everything is fitted correctly and purpose built. Modular units always stand out as there are often funny gaps everywhere and the space doesn’t look quite right.
Are they expensive? Can it be done on a budget?
It depends on what you consider to be expensive?! If you are on a tight budget, you are probably best to buy a fridge cabinet! You can get fridge cabinets that can store quite a lot of bottles of wine. In saying that, if you are going to do design and build a cellar, you can’t take any shortcuts or do it “cheaply” – especially if you want it done correctly.
Determining the size of your desired cellar will ultimately play a role in your budget. Then, it needs to be insulated properly with the right wine cooler system, you’ve got to have the right racking, beautiful lighting, custom joinery, heated glass doors – there are SO many elements that are involved in doing a wine cellar correctly and they all cost money!
I have limited space, is it still possible to build a cellar? How about under my staircase?
Absolutely! you can definitely build a wine cellar under a staircase. You will just have to be wary of where the actual (exterior) unit can go as you will need to get all your plumbing and ducting requirements into the cellar. Once you have worked out the logistics of all that, you can pretty much have it anywhere.
How should wine be stored?
Either flat, or angled – ensuring the angle is not too great that it causes the wine to come away from the cork. The cork must be submerged in the wine for preservation purposes.
What have you learnt when designing wine cellars? Any challenges along the way?
We have learnt a lot about the Queensland environment and the ultimately how different types of home construction impact the design of a cellar. Each space is unique and basically the humidity of each room varies between all houses, so understanding that is a challenge when designing the space.
In summary what would be your top tips to anyone considering building a wine cellar?
- Understand the environment / location that the cellar is going to be built into as this will determine what work is required
- Consider how much wine you wish to store now and in the future
- Ensure the company building and designing it is a reputable company and experienced in wine cellars
- Understanding the quantity of wine you are wanting the store
- Think about look, feel and function – How do you want to use the cellar? Do you want it for purley storage or do you plan to use the space to entertain for example.