Wine cellar plans can be everything from complex with their own temperature regulating system to as simple as a rack in a basement or closet.
Wine Cellar Basics
If you are just an average amateur collector (or want to be) there is no need for all the fancy bells and whistles of someone who collects hundreds of bottles of vintage wine. Plus, having a wine cellar installed in your home professionally can cost anywhere from $10,000 and upwards of $100,000. For some people, that's just spare change, but for most, that's a whole lot of money. Thankfully, for those of us who don't have that kind of spare change just lying around, there are plenty of free wine cellar plans available to help you design your own, build-it-yourself, wine cellar.
Before you start buying building supplies and putting a hammer to nails, here are a few wine cellar basics:
The ideal storage temperature for wine is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit or about 13 degrees Celsius. If you live in a home that has a basement, an area where there are no heat registers, like a storage closet, will do just fine. If you don't have a basement or you live in a warm climate, you will have to purchase an independent cooling system if you don't want your wine to turn (that's wine speak for spoil).
Though a basement temperature stays more consistent than other areas of your house that are heated and cooled, temperatures in the room still fluctuate. Fluctuation in temperatures can cause wine to turn. If you are building a cellar in a non insulated room, frame it out with 2x4 inch studs and insulate it with fiberglass batting or rigid foam insulation.
The relative humidity in your wine cellar needs to be around 50 to 70 percent, with 65 percent being ideal. If the room is too humid, the corks on the bottles can retain the moisture, which leaves it susceptible to mold and mildew growth. If the room is too dry, the cork can dry out.
Don't choose to build your wine rack in an area of your home that vibrates, like near a washer or other major appliance. These vibrations disrupt the natural sediment inside the wine bottle and negatively affect the aging process.
Now that you have the basics of what your wine cellar needs, continue reading for some things wine cellars do not need.
Wine Cellar Don'ts
A quick list of don'ts when building a wine cellar:
- Sunlight - Wine hates the sun.
- Cedar and pine - Using cedar or pine is not good for a wine cellar because they are too aromatic. Strong smelling woods can affect the flavor of the wine.
- Poplar, oak, cherry - Avoid these woods. They don't like cold and damp environments and tend to absorb the moisture. This leads to structural weakness and mold and mildew growth.
- Redwood - Stay away from it. The wood itself is inconsistent in color and density. Plus some species of this tree are endangered and there is no way to know for certain where a manufacturer gets its redwood.
List of Wine Cellar Plans
Here is a list of wine cellar plans for you to peruse through to get some ideas for your custom built wine cellar:
- Wine Cellar Innovations - This plan tells you everything you need to know from framing out the room, to insulation to lighting.
- Wine Cabinets - Gives you a ton of great general wine cellar building knowledge.
- Wine Rack Shop - This site has a lot of great visual aids to help you envision your finished wine cellar.
- Rona - Has a lot of great information about home wine cellars.
- Wine Enthusiast - Need some live advice on your wine cellar? Give the experts at Wine Enthusiast a call. The consultation is free.
Find the right wine cellar design and building it yourself saves you a bunch of money and is a beautiful addition to any home.