The Proper Settings for a Wine Cellar

Over the years, your wine preferences have evolved. You’ve gone from that boxed wine in college to collecting vintages you can store and age over time. Now that you’re a homeowner, you can take your collecting to the next level with a well-designed and organized wine cellar.

At Harkraft, we’ve been helping wine enthusiasts to create their ideal wine cellars for over 50 years. So our team knows a thing or two about designing the perfect wine cellar. Here are a few of the factors you should consider when planning your new wine cellar.

Wine Cellar Temperature

Red wines are highly susceptible to heat. Generally, the safest temperature range for storage is between 52 and 55 degrees fahrenheit. Most wine cellar options are set to that range. Every ten degrees above this temperature range doubles the aging process of the wine. You can’t just purchase young wines and expect to age them on the double either. When wine ages too fast, it doesn’t develop the complex notes that slow aging brings to wine structure. You’ll end up with a cellar full of shallow, dull wines.

White wines and champagnes age slower than reds, and proper storage is about ten degrees cooler than reds. If you have a blend of varietals, you’ll need to consider appropriate temperature zones to age wines the best way possible.

Wine Cellar Humidity

Part of the integrity of wine comes from the integrity of the cork. Wines are stored on their sides to keep the corks moist, but in highly dry environments, this isn’t enough. Proper humidity keeps corks from drying out and breaking the seal during long-term storage. If the seal is compromised, air leaking into the bottle can affect the aging process. Plus, there’s nothing more disappointing than a cork crumbling into your long-anticipated bottle.

Bottles sealed with caps instead of corks aren’t as affected by humidity levels, but it certainly doesn’t hurt them. The majority of cellar bound bottles are still cork sealed, so having a humidity plan in place is critical.

You can invest in a simple hygrometer for about $30 to help you maintain the recommended 70% humidity of your wine cellar. Keep in mind that temperature also affects humidity levels, so if you tinker with the temperature, you have to tinker with humidity levels as well.

If your cellar is sealed correctly, maintaining the humidity isn’t too complicated. You can even spritz the walls from time to time (provided they’re wooden) to increase the moisture content of your cellar.

Wine Cellar Consistency

If you have a lot of different varietals, you’ll need to plan different temperature zones to allow for the best storage configuration of your collection. One thing that affects wine as much as the improper temperature is temperature variations. When wine experiences temperature fluctuations, it can trigger aging more quickly.

If you know you want different varietals, you need to set up your wine cellar in zones that can accommodate those wines. Zoning allows you to expand your collection without worrying about throwing off the delicate balance between the competing needs of different varietals.

If you’re going to build these zones, it pays to have a professional evaluation to get everything set up. You want your cellar to be organized and as easy as possible to maintain. Wine investors often store their wines off-site for better maintenance, but if you’re a wine lover, you’ll want your collection somewhere accessible and close.

You’ll have to check every three days or so that everything in the wine cellar is running smoothly, so it can’t be some protracted process to get things set up. Contacting a professional for design and installation takes the worry out of the process so that your new wine cellar is ready for you to stock.

Contact Harkraft for Your Wine Cellar Needs

Harkraft can help you design a custom wine cellar that meets your exact budget and needs. From 5 to 5,000 bottles, we can design and build your wine cellar from stud walls to completion.

We’ll help you to craft a system that suits your long-term plans and goals for your wine collection.

If you’d like to learn more about how Harkraft can help to make your wine cellar dreams a reality, we urge you to give us a call today. With a wide variety of customizable wine cellar configurations, you’re sure to find the resources you need to complete your wine cellar project with Harkraft.