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Tips for building your own wine cellar

Updated on November 10, 2015
A wine cellar rack
A wine cellar rack

Many of us have grown an inside passion for wine through the years. Whether it's to drink a glass, or maybe more than one, with supper or to have a wine and cheese evening, there is always an occasion around the corner to have a sip of this magnificent nectar. We go to the wine or liquor store to buy bottles and store them in the garage or in the basement but how would it be to have your own wine cellar? Helping that good twenty year vintage bottle of Porto aging in the best conditions would be a nice thing. Sounds great doesn't it. These easy steps are a quick guide to help you getting started with your project.


Lighting can have an effect on wine. It can accelerate the aging of the wine and alter the tannin so choosing a proper lighting is important. The best would be to choose a location with no windows and with soft luminosity. A great idea is to opt for DEL bulbs or neon tubes. They don't produce any heat and this way you can control the room temperature with more ease. In order to control the luminosity, you can choose to install a dimmer switch.

The floor

The wine cellars also need a proper floor. The way to go here is with a odorless material that is resistant to humidity. You can go with ceramic, slate or marble. Try to avoid materials such as carpet, which retains odors or wood because it can deform because of the humidity. Plus, using ceramic gives the floor a more crisp and relaxing aspect.

Walls and the ceiling

Build the walls and the ceiling with wood. For the coating finish, you can use materials that have properties of being odorless and moisture resistant. Waterproof gypsum could be a great way to go here. When you have to choose a proper paint for the walls, try to choose one that is 100% acrylic that is designed for humid rooms and that releases few odors.

You can always choose to make your walls with stones and brick to recreate the look of ancient wine cellars of Europe. But the cost of your bill might go up.

The door

The wine cellars always need a door in order to keep the room temperature steady. Make sure the one you buy isolates the room and that it has a weatherstripping. You can always choose to put a glass door but make sure it can stop ultraviolet rays because wines are sensitive to them.

A typical wine door
A typical wine door | Source

What...temperature and humidity?

Buying an air conditioner for your wine cellar is important. The optimal temperature to store your bottles should be between 10 and 14 Celsius degrees. If it's under 10 degrees then the aging process of wine might be slowed down and some deposits might appear inside the bottles. On the other hand, anything over 14 degrees will accelerate the aging.

Humidity should always be between 60 and 80 percent in the room.

Storage systems

The storage system you choose to use will become the main aspect people will see when they walk into your cellar. So choosing one that fits your vision is critical. You can opt for wooden boxes that can be stacked one on top of the other, metal racks or even build custom ones. Just make sure the wood you choose is moisture resistant. Some racks in wood can create a really awesome look!

Just remember that there is a wide variety of systems to choose from so take your time to pick one that fits your needs. The bottles should always be placed horizontally so that the cork stopper stays in contact with the wine.

Some final precautions

Always remember that cork is porous meaning odors can easily go through the stopper. So try not stocking any fruits, chemical products or any other material that have scents near your wine cellar. Also, try not to leave your bottles inside cardboard boxes because these can transmit an odor of wet cardboard.

Hope these steps and advices will help guide you properly if you choose to build a wine cellar one day!

Books related to wine cellars

Living with Wine: Passionate Collectors, Sophisticated Cellars, and Other Rooms for Entertaining, Enjoying, and Imbibing
Living with Wine: Passionate Collectors, Sophisticated Cellars, and Other Rooms for Entertaining, Enjoying, and Imbibing

Created with the help of some of the best designers in the field, these rooms blend luxurious design aesthetics with ingenious storage solutions. The thirty stunning spaces featured...


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    • profile image

      Luiza 3 years ago

      Caught the second one from the top, which somohew reminded me of the anteroom in Blade. Kidding. Planned to turn my bar into something like the topmost pic. The glass partition looks fabulous, and my mind is already racing what wines and liquor would have their coveted places in the shelf. The designs are outstanding. Thank you.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This is a great hub. I like all the helpful tips. One thing I never would have thought of is conditioning the room with regard to odor.