Home Wine Cellar
A wine storage room, be it in bottles or barrels; is known as a wine cellar. Most commonly home wine cellars are located under ground, sometimes with a gap in the buildings foundations allowing for direct contact with the soil.
Wine cellars with sandstone walls have gained some popularity too.
The darkness and stable temperature of such a cellar protects the alcohol from external influence, such as heat, light, temperature fluctuations and humidity, which may cause the wine to spoil. These external influences can have a damaging effect on wines because wine is a natural product which is subject to perishing in the same way as any other food product. Storing wine in a good cellar will maintain and likely improve a wine’s quality with aroma, taste and complexity developing with time. (See Wine Storage)
A good wine cellar should satisfy certain conditions which will preserve and improve the quality of wines, with the ideal temperature for storage being around 13 degrees C for all wine types. Remember, however, that wine matures slower at lower wine cellar refrigeration temperatures.
Cellars can be cooled by their natural conditions, in temperate climates basement cellars may get away with natural (passive) cooling. This is not as predictive as an active cooling system, but it is cheaper and will not let you down should there be a power outage.
An active wine cellar cooler makes use of a cooling system which controls the temperature and humidity of the cellar. Naturally it is very important that a cellar be sealed with airtight wine cellar doors in order for the cooling system to work optimally. If you want to build a wine cellar with an active cooling system you should make sure that the system comes with humidity control as well, and not only temperature control. There is some debate around optimum humidity levels, and humidity may be less important to bottled wine.
The wine cellar rack holds the bottles horizontally, or at an angle which keeps the wine in contact with the cork so as to keep the cork swollen and avoid corkage.