Wine Cellar Preparation Guide

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a general guideline. The consultation of a local qualified contractor along with the understanding and adherence to local building codes and standards is necessary. The building science of wine room construction and building materials is continually developing and may have different application and interpretations in different climate zones. The improper construction of a refrigerated wine cellar/wine room can result in excess condensation, mold growth and mechanical equipment failure. 

Types of wine storage

Passive: Non-refrigerated wine storage. Typically, this is a conditioned, interior environment with ambient temperatures in the 65–70 degree range that does not fluctuate much. This format works fine for non-collectable ‘everyday drinking’ wine that is stored and consumed within 6 months of stocking.

Active: Refrigerated wine storage. A mechanical unit is utilized to maintain ideal long-term wine storage for the purpose of slowing the maturing rate of wine. This allows wine to age and develop. Temperature ranges can be programmed to maintain constant 55 degree temperatures and elevated humidity is maintained and controlled.

Ideal Conditions for Wine

Note: Wine storage temperatures should not be confused with wine serving temperatures. Storage temperatures are the same for most wine types, whereas serving temperatures vary by varietal. It is a common practice to store wine at an optimal red wine serving temperature (60-68 degrees). This results in less energy costs and reds ‘ready to drink’ at the optimal temp.

Room Construction

Passive: Wine rooms should be located on an interior wall to minimize exterior temperature fluctuations and be out of direct sunlight. Non-insulated frameless glass walls and doors can be used.

Active: A climate controlled wine cellar is like a refrigerator. It’s an insulated sealed envelope with an airtight door. There are many modern building materials that address these issues and are ideal for wine room construction. This enables the wine room to be located anywhere in the home or business, not just the basement.

There are certain key factors required to build-out a wine cellar to maintain temperatures produced by a mechanical refrigeration system.

Compensate for Conditions

Wine Refrigeration Systems

Disclaimer: Kessick LLC are not refrigeration technicians and recommend consultation with a local refrigeration and/or a national wine refrigeration company.  Please note, there is a direct correlation between price and performance when it comes to selecting a wine cooling system.

Types of wine room refrigeration systems:

Recommended wine refrigeration companies: