Whether your passion for wine has grown beyond what a standard wine fridge can offer, you’re looking to invest in a private premium collection or you’re choosing to expand or upgrade the way your business stores wine, getting your wine storage perfect is vital.
To preserve and mature wines without compromising quality achieving precision temperatures and conditions is key.
When off the shelf wine cooling and storage just doesn’t fit the bill, bespoke wine refrigeration is the ideal solution, offering the flexibility to create a personalized space and it needn’t be as costly as you think.
Here are our top tips to consider before taking on your project.
Location, Location, Location
Most people think that a wine cellar has to be underground. It doesn’t. Whilst a cellar may be a possibility for many older buildings, new premises don’t often have the stereotypical dark basements ripe for conversion.
Luckily any space or room can be transformed into a specialised wine room with a little modification. Whether you have a whole room without purpose above or below ground or a section of room that is going spare where partition walls can be erected, it can become your new wine cellar with a degree of planning and the right equipment.
Wine Storage Temperatures
In order to preserve wine and maintain its desirable qualities storage temperatures are key. Generally white, red and sparkling wines require a slightly differing temperature for storage.
Champagne & Sparkling
If you’re planning to store just one type of wine in your new wine cellar, temperature ranges at which the room needs to be maintained will be relatively straight forward however if investing in a full range of wines, the temperature will need some consideration. There are a number of options available.
Storing Reds & Whites
By setting temperatures to around 12°C your wine room should be suitable for both red and white wine storage over the long term however bottles of red will require a short period to slowly warm prior to service.
Storing Whites & Sparkling or Champagne
Storing white wine and sparkling wine together is wholly achievable by setting room temperatures to around 8°, this being the lower end of white wine conditions and the upper end of Champagne and sparkling. Sparkling wines may require further chilling before being served.
Storing Reds, Whites & Sparkling or Champagne
If wishing to store wines separately at respective recommended temperature ranges partitioning rooms could be possibility. This means that each area can be chilled to independent conditions depending on what is being stored. Partitions can be made of wood, steel or glass depending on the overall effect you’re trying to achieve.
Bespoke Wine Refrigeration Systems
Premium wine refrigeration relies on a number of elements most importantly precision temperatures. Temperature consistency with minimal fluctuation is essential for optimum wine chilling and there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved depending on the location of your planned wine room.
Monobloc directly to exterior wall
This system is ideal for above ground locations where one wall of the room is external. The condenser sits on the outside of the wall together with the evaporator on the inside of the room.
Monobloc remote options
Remote refrigeration is suitable for rooms above or below ground where rooms have no exterior walls. Condensers and evaporators are separate and connected by a pipe run.
Working in much the same way as remote monobloc systems, cellar cooling is ideal for rooms or cellars with no exterior walls. Click here to see a range of cellar cooling units.
If partitioning a room, split systems are available that can supply suitable refrigeration to every area.
Always consider the ambient temperatures of surrounding areas. Excessive heat will affect the performance of the refrigeration system.
Control & Display
Remaining in full control over storage conditions is vital to preserving wine quality. All refrigeration systems used to create wine rooms and cellars feature a thermostat just as with other types of refrigeration. This ensures that it is easy to control and program temperatures to the recommended settings.
Excessive vibration can cause agitation that can disturb sediment in wine bottles and cause premature ageing. This interference can come from moving bottles frequently or even from the operation of the refrigeration system itself if in close proximity to bottles.
Acoustic insulation can be fitted to reduce noise within the wine room. This works especially well in partitioned rooms that are in public or living areas where excessive noise may cause disruption.
Whether kitting out a standard room or a partitioned area, all spaces should be sealed to prevent cold air from escaping ensuring that the correct conditions can be achieved and most importantly maintained. Adequate sealing will also help to create a more consistent environment for delicate wines.
Although rooms are sealed, they still need a degree of ventilation to prevent musty odours from tainting wine whilst in storage. Monobloc refrigeration systems and cellar cooling not only chill but also act as a method of ventilation. Refrigeration continuously circulates the air, removing it from the room and chilling it before being pumping back in.
Humidity levels for premium wine storage must be considered especially if investing in corked wines. Humidity levels between 60-70% are recommended to prevent corks from drying out and splitting.
Specialist equipment is available that can help to control and regulate humidity levels to guarantee that optimum conditions can always be achieved for premium wine storage.
Strong light or direct UV rays can not only accelerate the ageing process of wine but can also generate heat which can cause unwanted temperature fluctuation.
If creating a below ground wine cellar natural light shouldn’t be an issue however when putting together a wine room above ground, any source of direct light should be avoided along with the use of strong fluorescents.
Wine refrigeration for bespoke rooms and cellars will be hardwired directly into the mains. This will need to be carried out by a qualified electrician.
Achieving the perfect environment for wine storage isn’t the only element to contend with. Choosing appropriate wine shelving and wine racks etc. is essential. Corked wine should be stored horizontally so that the wine is always in contact with the cork to prevent it from drying out. For aesthetics, a full wine rack is always a sight to behold however employing and combining horizontal racks, upright shelves and even crates can help to maximise display potential.
Measuring & Sizing Up your Bespoke Wine Room
The area of space you wish to chill will dictate the size of the refrigeration system you need. To calculate, measure the square meterage of the room. This can be measured in house or a site visit could be arranged.
Build your Bespoke Wine Room
If you’re looking to personalise your wine refrigeration whether for personal or commercial purposes get in touch with our team to discuss available cellar cooling and wine refrigeration options. We supply a range of cellar cooling systems from leading brands to perfectly chill any sized bespoke wine cellar or room.