How to Create A Fully Custom Wine Cellar From A Small, 26 Square Foot Space

A very limited space can be a bit of a concern especially when you keep a pretty big collection of wine. For serious wine collectors, however, not even the absence of a sizable, suitable room or space could stop them from owning their very own custom wine cellars. At the end of the day, what is important is that you make the most out of the limited place by making use of storage solutions that efficiently utilizes every space available. An ideal first step is to find contractors specializing in the custom wine cellar business and seek out their recommendations.

As a case study, this article will discuss a custom wine cellar in Baltimore, Maryland, where the cellar was built under the stairs and had a very limited space. The room was empty and unused so the homeowner decided to make the most out of it by building a fully customized wine cellar. The available space measured just 79 ” x 46 “, or about 26 square feet. The homeowner made the most logical move: seek out a professional custom wine cellar builder.

The Wine Racks

A mix of wine storage bins and single bottle wooden wine racks of varying depths were utilized. Wine storage bins maximize storage space per square foot that is why they are incredibly popular. Each cubicle is usually big enough to house several wine bottles of varied shapes and sizes. What is more, the stacked bottles dissipate heat as it’s passed from bottle to bottle, thus providing an even better thermal cooling performance. Wine storage bins ordinarily include diamond and rectangular-shaped types. With the latter, you may use them as shelves for wooden or cardboard wine boxes. With single bottle wine racks, the bottles are stored individually. This type of wine storage configuration has a lower storage capacity but since each wine bottle is housed in a single cubicle, the labels and other markings are better preserved.

Our Baltimore wine cellar features a custom wine rack with both styles in place. The upper portion is basically a single bottle wine rack that features a high reveal display row. This row stores the bottles pitched at a 15 degree angle which helps keep the corks moist all the time. The lower portion is a diamond storage bin that can hold several bottles per cubicle. This rack alone immediately addressed the wine cellar’s storage capacity requirements. Additionally, there was enough space for a cigar humidor as well.

For our Baltimore wine cellar, the homeowner was an ardent cigar collector so a cigar humidor was also incorporated into the wine cellar design. The humidor’s interior was lined with an unfinished Spanish Cedar, which is known for its distinctive fragrance that is then absorbed by the stored cigar. The cigar humidor’s door was also weather stripped to prevent the wines’ aroma and flavor from tainting the cigar’s innate properties.

On the opposite wall was an empty space with about 6 inches of available horizontal space which was also fitted with a wine rack. This wine rack displays the wine laterally with the labels conveniently facing the viewer. This space was just 6 inches deep but there was still enough room to accommodate and display additional wine bottles. The bare wall is more than 6 feet high and 3 feet wide which was more than enough space for an extra 45 bottles.

On a side note, a good substitute for wooden wine racks are genuine wooden crates, which can lend a sense of authentic vintage feel to your wine cellar. Some collectors like to keep their wine bottles in their actual wooden crates which you can also find in wine outlets. A few classic wines, such as Bordeaux and Vintage Port, are sold in these crates. The darker environment found in these crates also benefits wine. However, the problem with using crates is that if you wish to retrieve a bottle of wine from the bottom, you will have to take out each bottle over it. Yes it’s troublesome, yet manageable. All you have to do is be wary not to stir strongly each bottle’s contents when removing them from the crates, then replacing them back in.

Wood Species Used

The usual types of wood species used in constructing customized wine cellars are Mahogany, Redwood and Pine. Each of the 3 wood types possesses their own distinctive features and exquisite attributes, and choosing one over the other is simply a matter of personal choice.

For this specific wine cellar, Mahogany wine racks were used. Even though it’s true that pinewood is the most financially viable wood among the 3, pine is not known to adjust well to highly moist environments. Mahogany, meanwhile, is commonly regarded as the finest source of wood not only in building customized wine cellars but also for all kinds of structural lumber. Mahogany is remarkably resistant to rot and warping, especially in comparison to pine. Mahogany also has natural traits that allow you to leave them unfinished, and you can bet they’re going to endure the elevated damp environments ordinarily found inside custom wine cellars.

Wine cooling system

The heart of a customized wine cellar is the air cooling unit. There are basically two types of wine cooling systems: Split types and Self-Contained types. Your choice will hinge primarily on the circumstances surrounding your wine cellar. With the custom wine cellar in Baltimore, Maryland, a Whisperkool XLT self-contained unit was used.

With the custom wine cellar in Baltimore, Maryland, a WhisperKOOL XLT self-contained unit was used. With self-contained types, the condenser and evaporator unit is encased inside a single container. It is a lot simpler to install and does not require a professional specialist for the installation. This should give you quite a few savings but on the other hand, this wine cooling system needs to vent air into an adjacent room. This room’s temperature needs to be controlled as well due to the system’s temperature differential feature. Since the Baltimore wine cellar meets this requirement, a WhisperKOOL unit was installed because of its renowned quality and efficiency. It is also fairly silent during normal operation.

The Importance of the Wine Cellar Room

Even though the most important element of customized wine cellars is the wine cooling unit, properly planning and building your wine cellar would allow you to use the smallest and least expensive wine cooling unit possible. Listed here are a few key notes and tips to remember.

* R-value is the rate at which an insulator minimizes the flow of heat through walls. Exterior walls and ceilings must at the very least have R19 insulation while interior walls require R11 insulation. Rigid foam and fiberglass are the most efficient insulators because they have higher R-values. * Walls and ceilings should also be designed with a vapor barrier using 6 mm plastic sheets on the warmer side of the wall. Use moisture resistant materials such as green boards for wall finishing. Flooring materials ought to be vapor sealed too. * Lights yield excess heat so use them sparingly. Long exposure to light also contributes to the breaking down of otherwise stable organic compounds naturally present in wine. * Wine cellar doors must at the very least be weather stripped and insulated. A threshold system should be installed as well. Use Insulated Glass (IG) units for windows and glass doors.

Coastal Custom Wine Cellars constructed this beautiful, fully customized wine cellar for the Ahmads of Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, watch this online video to learn more about the cellar design process.