Design Guide Overview

What is really  involved in designing & installing my wine cellar?

We receive phone calls every day from individuals that are going to transform a room in their home or retail space into functioning wine storage space, and this is the place to learn what you need to do to prepare! It is a real treat to hear all the creative ideas that so many people have, and how excited they are to show off their wine collection.

The bottom line is that there are countless options to consider. Your wine cellar design should ultimately reflect your overall use, whether it be pure storage, a work of art, or something in between.

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The question we hear most often is:

“What exactly is a modular wine cellar?”

Well… A modular wine cellar, like your kitchen cabinets, is made up of individual units that are grouped together to form a storage system.

We tell people that while their wine cellar probably won’t materialize overnight, but with the right planning it can happen eaiser than you think. Continue reading the steps listed in this guide, and Contact Us if you have any additional questions. Our Wine Storage Experts are standing by to help.

This is an example of a modular wine cellar

A. Quarter Round & End-Cap Shelving

This type of racking is perfect for creating a display at the end of a rack that is exposed and adds that finishing touch. Other corner racking makes storing wine in concave corners easy.

B. High Reveal Display Racks

These racks are made to display your best vintage as the focal point of your cellar, while still storing wine safely.

C. Full Height Diamond Bin

This racking can be used as a standalone or kit racking implementation. It is used mainly for longer storage solutions.

D. Standard Racking

Made for maximum storage for tight spaces, and those going for bulk bottle storage rather than display, while still maintaining an aesthetic appeal.

E. Stemware Racks, Arches, & Tasting Tables

These options help to create a simple area in your cellar to enjoy a glass of your favorite vintage while admiring your collection. We build ours to integrate seemlessly into the other modular kits to minimize wasted space. Some arches in our collection even come with lighting.

F. Wine Cubes & Bins

These types of wine storage have a more old-world feel, and store wine or wine cases with ease. There are many styles and color options to choose from.

G. Side Display Racking

Another approach at displaying your favorite vintage with the label in view. An elevated rear display shows multiple bottles securely.

H. Shelf Style Wine Racking

These displays show your racking along side cases and multiple bottle sizes. Great for those who may have cases and odd sized bottles.

Part 1  |  Cellar Type

When you boil it down there are only two different types of wine cellars – passive & active.

  • A passive cellar is not actively climate controlled.
  • An active cellar is climate controlled & acts like a big walk-in refrigerator.

Whatever your approach is to your cellar, remember this:

The ideal room conditions for long term wine storage consist of a constant temperature between 50°F and 60°F with 50% to 70% relative humidity.

Passive Cellars

Ideally, a passive cellar will maintain constant temperature and humidity year round – like a cave in France. Basement spaces that are ideal for passively storing wine are usually below grade and surrounded by earth on 2-3 walls. If the room that you choose to store your wine in does not have a 6 degree temperature swing in a twelve month period and falls into the right humidity range, all you need to do is add some racking and viola, instant wine cellar.

Active Cellars

If your room is not in an ideal spot, you are going to have to actively control the conditions of the room with insulation, a vapor barrier, a cooling unit etc. To build a room specifically for these conditions you’ll want to take extra care during construction so that you don’t eventually damage your storage space or overwork your cooling unit. Nothing is more heartbreaking than a failed wine cellar.

Wine Racks America