Wine Talk

Snooth User: corkdork kel

building a wine cellar

Posted by corkdork kel, Mar 15, 2009.

how would you go about turning one side of a room into a walk-in wine cellar entirely visible through glass? any ideas or pictures/blueprints recommended?

Replies

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Mar 16, 2009.

What kind of room is this? Is it in an apartment or a house? How much space do you have to devote to this walk-in cellar.

Making it visible through glass might look cool and impress your visitors, but remember that light can harm your bottles. You'd probably want to use polarized or tinted glass. Moreover, because you are going to be cooling the wine cellar, you might get all sorts of condensation on the glass.

As you can tell, I don't like the glass idea. You'll want to insulate the room from the rest of the house and then put shelving and racking on three sides. A lot of the shelving is available for purchase online or by catalog, but it adds up really fast.

Here are some photos to get you thinking:





Finally, you just just spring for the GE walk-in wine vault for $35,000 and avoid a lot of hassle.
http://www.monogram.com/products/wi...

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 24, 2009.

When considering what room to convert, you need to be very concerned about light (especially sunlight) as RB mentioned, but also vibration from foot or street traffic and any nearby household machinery, as well as areas of wide temperature fluctuation (surveys have found that temperatures in high-rise apartment rooms with large glass exposures can rise above 45 degrees C in the summer when the tenant is away). Even with refrigeration in your wine room that fluctuation can induce stress on the cooling unit, and in some instances icing. Finally, research carefully the cooling system you plan to use. Perche systems have a dodgy reputation, both in small fridge-like units and large storage warehouses. Forster, from Switzerland, makes excellent compressor systems.

Now you can see why underground cellars are still the ideal! ;-)

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Reply by oceank8, Mar 25, 2009.

We tried for awhile to come up with a way to install our own cellar and realized it was going to be harder than we thought (and we are pretty handy). So then we got professionals involved and realized it was even harder. After much time and consideration, we bought a refrigerated unit that looks like a piece of furniture with a glass front and holds almost 700 bottles. It ended up being cheaper, we can take it with us if we move, and since we didn't change our house, we don't have to worry about resale. Part of me still wishes I had a walk in, but I know my choice ended up being more realistic for us. I wish you luck and would love to hear and see what you end up with!

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Reply by Degrandcru, Mar 25, 2009.

@Ocean: Depends a lot of the room you have available to build you cellar. I have a storage room that have air circulation and a very steady cool year round temperature. Humidity in Mexico City is not a problem and the room is dark as I just enter to get wine or access what else I store there. So in this case the only thing you need is any shelving. A friend of mine just had a little room build in his shady patio. He had it built with very thick stone walls and a thick wooden door. So again, all he needed was shelving.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 25, 2009.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is thinking of buildin a dedicated cellar room.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Build-Win...

It's worth the tariff even though it is aimed at the do it yourselfer in many ways. If you do go ahead this gives you the information you need to know to have the job done correctly.

If you are in the NYC area I can recommend people who do this sort of work

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Reply by oceank8, Mar 25, 2009.

If all you need is shelving and no moisture barrier, no cooling unit, and no insulation - then yeah, a cellar would be pretty easy! Shelving is definitely easier than all the rest, even if you mess it up, it won't wreck your wine. I always love to see pics.

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Reply by RobUncorked, Mar 26, 2009.

@oceank8
You mentioned above that instead of building your own cellar, you purchase a 700 bottle unit that looks like furniture. Can you point me to where you found such item? I haven't seen many realistic wine coolers that large, nor one that wouldn't be an eyesore in my house.

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Reply by oceank8, Mar 26, 2009.

We got ours from Le Cache (online at http://www.lecachewinecabinets.com/...) and have been very happy with it. Here are a few pics from when we first got it (before we filled it up):




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Reply by dmcker, Mar 27, 2009.

GDP, perhaps your book recs. could go in a centralized wine resource archive like I recommend in that Berkeley thread? Just a thought...

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 27, 2009.

Great idea!

As a start I've created:

http://www.snooth.com/tag/building-...


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Reply by dmcker, Mar 27, 2009.

Looks like a good start! Please note that new thread I started on a Snooth Wine Resource Center. Have had a few more ideas.

And by the by, I'm remembering more the studies I was in touch with peripherally at the beginning of this decade in Tokyo. They involved a couple of construction firms, one a huge general contractor, and one a medium-to-large contractor that specialized in up-scale condos, often high-rise, throughout Japan. Also some wine industry people got involved as an aside from trying to figure out why Eurocave ammonia-based systems were icing up and even breaking down so often in this country. In Tokyo and Osaka the temperatures in high-rise apartments with large glass exposure were found to be *regularly* above 45 degrees over several hours on sunny summer days when the tenant was away, and spikes frequently went past *50* degrees. No wonder old-school Eurocave wine fridges were having so much trouble...

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Reply by Degrandcru, May 29, 2009.

Need some input: I am in the process of buying a house. The apartment where I live now has a year-round cool storage where I put in some shelving to store my wine. The house I am buying has no cellar and no useful storage space, besides one big closet with thick stone walls, where I could store around 200 bottles. As I have plenty of room in the living room and in the kitchen I am thinking about building either a small walk in cellar or just kind of a big closet. It should hold about 600 bottles, so I would have total storage for 800 which should be plenty for me.
The house has thick stone walls and the average temperatures in Mexico City are not too extrem, so mostly it is about 25 Celcius in the house. If I would use stone to build the cellar and thick wooden doors I guess I should be fine. Any thoughts???

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Reply by MReff, May 29, 2009.

Hey Greg, can you lon me that book about building a wine cellar. If you can bring it with you on Sunday

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 29, 2009.

I would Mike but it's out on Long Island and I won't be there for another 2 weeks.

I can see if I can dig it out then though.

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Reply by dmcker, May 30, 2009.

So Degrandcru, I assume you're trying to avoid any installation of temperature and humidity control equipment?

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Reply by Degrandcru, Jun 1, 2009.

@dmcker: exactly, trying to avoid it if not absolutely necessary.


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