Having an impressive collection of your favourite wines on hand is becoming more common, with wine cellars now featuring in more new homes and renovations.
Tania MacPhee of EuroCave Australia and MacPhee’s Wine Storage Specialists says wine requires five criteria for cellaring correctly.
Consistent 14°C temperature.
Between 65-75% humidity.
Fresh air flow.
Unfortunately, those conditions aren’t usually present in the home. So here are four things to remember when adding a wine cellar.
1. You’ll need a wine cellar conditioner
A wine cellar conditioner turns almost any space into a custom cellar by recreating the essential conditions required to mature your wine perfectly, MacPhee says.
A standard air-conditioner is not designed to handle the consistently low temperatures wine needs to cellar correctly, nor do they manage humidity.
“Here in Australia, many people overlook the need for a custom wine cellar conditioner. It’s a common misconception that basement temperatures generally remain cool and stable.
2. Cellars don’t have to be underground:
As long as a cellar is properly insulated, it can be placed almost anywhere inside the home.
Whilst it may seem logical to design the cellar in the middle of the home as this would seem to be the ‘coolest’ place, this can cause various technical difficulties, so ideally, a cellar should be designed near an external wall.
3. Wine cellars need thermal protection:
Without the proper thermal protection or the right insulation, you could triple the load of your wine cellar conditioner.
4. Consider space – cellaring is expensive:
You need to work out how much space is needed for the bottles at the design phase of your renovation. A good guide is 100 bottles per square metre. Remember, wine collecting can be expensive. If you ‘re looking to establish a 1000-bottle wine cellar and the bottles cost $40 each on average, that’s $40,000 to fill the cellar.