Have you always dreamed of having a wine cellar in your home, beautifully displaying your favorite bottles?
Transform that dream into a reality with our handy guide on how to build a wine cellar. From how to create the ideal storage conditions to decoration advice, we’ve got you covered.
It’s time to get planning!
Decide How You Want to Use Your Cellar
When building a wine cellar at home, the first step is to decide why exactly you want the wine cellar.
Is it just for storing wines? Or will you use it to entertain guests and display your collection?
If your cellar is only used to store wines, then you can get away with purchasing cheaper racks such as those made from pine or redwood. These can be bought for as little as $2 a bottle.
However, if you want to design an attractive space where you can proudly showcase your wines and meet guests, you may want to budget higher for storage and décor.
Be realistic, though. While we’d love to splurge on the best-quality wine wracks, this could end up costly. Attractive wine racking usually starts around $5 a bottle, after all.
Decide on the style and type of material you’d like to use, such as wood, metal, or even both.
If you go for wood, consider premium hardwoods such as mahogany which is available in a selection of finishes and offers a sleek and sophisticated look.
For elegance and fun, consider playful upgrades such as islands, archways, and waterfalls.
Understand and Maintain the Optimal Conditions for Wine Storage
When making your wine cellar design plans, you must learn what the optimal conditions are for wine storage and how to maintain them.
The best conditions for storing and aging wine are 55 to 60°F and 60 to 70% relative humidity.
If you don’t have a room with such conditions, don’t worry. You can create a controlled environment to help you store your wines.
Wine coolers, otherwise known as cooling units or refrigeration systems, can create these optimal conditions for your wine collection. Most wine coolers are temperature-controlled, and many quality models effectively keep wine at appropriate serving temperatures.
Ideally, the wine will also be stored in the dark with as little vibration and disturbance as possible.
Do the Framing, Insulation, and Drywall
The framing of your wine cellar can be managed with some basic 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 walls. While both works, a thicker wall will offer thicker insulation which makes it easier to control the environment.
Once your walls are built, use spray-foam insulation to work as both an insulator and a vapor barrier to protect your cellar.
If you don’t want to use spray-foam insulation, it gets a little more difficult. You’ll want to use a 6-millimeter poly moisture barrier on each framed wall. If you are unable to apply it to the outside walls due to the room’s configuration, then instead wrap it in, out, and around each of the studs.
This is because you want your insulation rather than the poly to be on the inside of the poly barrier. Then, apply a green board, otherwise known as mold and mildew-resistant drywall, to the interiors of the wine cellar.
Choose the Size of Your Wine Racks
Wine racks are available in all types of designs and sizes, so you’ll need to choose some to suit your needs and style.
Some of the most popular types of wine racks include:
Individual Bottle Storage
Each bottle is supported by its own cell, either single or double deep. Cells can be different sizes to fit various types and sizes of bottles, such as Bordeaux, Champagne, Magnums, and splits.
Individual bottle storage racks can be crafted in wood or metal depending on your style.
Diamond Bin Storage
Diamond bins offer bulk storage with style. Diamond bins are a flexible option, as they accommodate any bottle no matter its size. However, they work better for long term storage as bottles keep at the bottom are difficult to reach.
When taking bottles out of diamond bins, you’ll also need to handle the wines carefully as they rest upon each other.
Wood and cardboard case racks accommodate wine bottles in their original cases. Depending on the case storage, sometimes it comes with sliding shelves for easy access.
If you decide to go for case storage, be sure to specify whether you’d like wood or cardboard cases. This is because wood cases are wider and shorter, while cardboard cases are narrower and taller.
Tabletop storage can offer convenient and attractive spaces for opening and pouring wine.
Tabletops are usually crafted from wood or stone surfaces to compliment your cellar design. They can also provide space to keep accessories used in the cellar, such as stemware, decanters, and bottle openers.
Decorate Your Wine Cellar
Now it’s time for the fun part – decorating your homemade wine cellar.
Whatever your style, there are plenty of fun ways to design a wine cellar that you’ll love. From traditional to rustic to modern, the world is your oyster.
Choosing the style of your wine cellar is the most exciting way to create a space that truly becomes yours. After all, wine cellars are so much more than just a place to store your wine bottles. Your wine cellar should showcase your personality and the uniqueness of you and your favorite wines.
If you need some inspiration, explore custom wine cellar designs here.
How to Build a Wine Cellar You’ll Love
With our advice and guidance, now you know how to build a wine cellar that you’ll love.
Whether using the wine cellar primarily as a room to store wines or as a space to entertain guests, it’s sure to be an excellent addition to your home.
Want to learn more about wine for inspiration for your cellar? Discover what Pinotage is and why you should sample it in South Africa.