The Ideal Wine Cellar Environment
BUILDING A WINE CELLAR: THE IDEAL ENVIRONMENT, PART I
So you have decided to build a wine cellar, but will you be properly storing wine so it will age to perfection? Here is what you should know about storing your precious collection.
The ideal environment
A temperature of 55° Fahrenheit and a Relative Humidity of 60-65% are ideal for long-term wine storage. The cool temperature slows the aging process, while the high humidity prevents moisture inside the wine bottle from moving into the cork and eventually evaporating into the air. Ultraviolet light exposure should be kept to a minimum. While some basements in northern climates may naturally provide these conditions. It is more likely that you will need to actively condition your wine cellar using a wine cellar cooling unit.
Actively conditioned wine cellars
The basements of most modern homes are too warm and dry to passively provide the ideal conditions for wine storage. Wine cellars installed above ground will require active conditioning to achieve the ideal wine cellar environment. Should you choose to actively cool your wine cellar using a wine cooling system, you will need to follow the proper guidelines for how to build a wine cellar. Failure to properly follow these guidelines may result in cooling system failure and moisture damage to areas surrounding the wine cellar.
Learn more about wine cooling systems
Wine cellar lighting
As with many other decisions facing you with your wine cellar projects, the lighting you choose needs to be functional and attractive. You will need enough light to be able to read labels, but too much light can create unwanted heat and may ruin the ambience of your wine cellar. You must also avoid prolonged exposure of harmful UV rays. Vigilant’s selection of wine cellar lighting is designed to protect the wine in your wine cellar. Recessed lighting works and should be insulated and have a vapor barrier behind it. Make sure that you install the cans at least 18″ off all walls to avoid contact with the wine racking. The same rules apply to track and surface lighting. Sconces work well if you have wall surfaces that you are not planning to cover with wine storage racking.
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Coming in Part 2 – Early Planning Considerations