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Tips for Building a Wine Cellar

Tips for Building a Wine Cellar
Put forth in the following DecorDezine write up, are some tips for building a good wine cellar.
DecorDezine Staff
Wine is drunk all over the world. It is pervasive even in the most orthodox of cultures. As far as the layman is concerned, they are broadly classified into "white wine" and "red wine." But there are thousands of ways in which they can be classified.

Wines have been associated with romance and love. They have been called the perfect aphrodisiac. It has become fashionable to acquire a varied collection. But, to hold such a collection, it is imperative that one owns a good cellar. There are many advantages of keeping and maintaining a good cellar.

A cellar allows you to purchase wine when it is young and not very expensive, and can be stored properly for years together, in the cellar. As it gets older, its economic value increases, and it can be sold at a profit later. The business model for wine is similar to that of artwork.

Another advantage is that it gives one a better choice of wines to suit different occasions; the cellar owner and his/her guests can drink fine mature wines without having to hunt for them.

Wine can be bought in bulk at a cheaper rate. Commercially hotels and restaurants all over the world usually show-off their pedigree, by the quantity and quality of wines that they possess. It is rumored that the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo has more than 600,000 bottles. Wine when stored in a cellar tastes better, because they tend retain their light and fruity texture, in a better way.

Technical Requirements

» The first step in building a wine cellar is apportioning the space required. A room having dimensions of (3 X 3 X 3) meters, would be more than enough to have an adequate private collection.

» The temperature that is maintained within the cellar is extremely crucial, because wines wilt when subjected to extreme heat or cold. 18 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature.

» The ceilings should have an R-19 insulation. For the flooring, if the cellar room has a concrete flooring, R-19 insulation is not required, only a vapor barrier will suffice. But if the room does not have a concrete flooring, R-19 insulation, as well as a vapor barrier is required. For the walls, vapor barrier, i.e. a 6-8 mil plastic sheeting, should be applied on the outer sides. Ideally, you should consult a good cellar manufacturer to get an idea of the requirements, as per the location of your cellar.

» A reliable air conditioning system is very important. If there is a chance that the air conditioner goes out of order, or there is a loss of power, large blocks of ice would be handy in maintaining the temperature. If the collection is very expensive then a generator will be required.

» Humidity is also an important factor. In cellars that are too dry, corks tend to shrink and this lets air into the bottles. In such cases it would be prudent to keep a humidifier on hand. If the environment is extremely humid, cardboard boxes would get spoiled, and any labeling on them will become unreadable.

» The lights in the cellar must not be very harsh. Too much darkness prevents the penetration of natural ultraviolet light, and bright artificial light results in the premature aging of the wine.

» Ideally, they should be stored in a place that is stable without vibrations of any sort.

» The cellar door, should have weather stripping, on all 4 sides, to avoid the cool air from the cellar from escaping.

» Before the cellar is built, it is important to calculate the number of bottles, that would be stored at any given point of time. This can be ascertained by the number of parties that the cellar owner intends to throw within a given span of time, the number of guests who will attend, and the amount of wine consumed per guest.

» The storage spaces of cellars are divided into bins and racks. Bins are large open shelves or spaces on the floor, where large quantity of one wine is laid bottle on bottle.

» Racks are specially designed storage spaces, meant for holding different types of wines. These are either single-bottle slots, or diamond shaped slots (multiple bottle capacity).

» Wine bottles must be stored on their sides.

» The size of the bottles, that are being stored will determine the shape of the slots. 75 cl. bottles are the accepted global standard. But there will be occasions when bigger bottles will be there. Adequate provision needs to be made for such bottles.

» It is imperative that the cellar owner devises an accounting system to keep track of his wines. This would help in his inventory management.

The above mentioned tips are just an overview of the basic requirements of building a cellar. It is always wise to get in touch with a professional cellar builder, to get a good quality cellar made.
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