- Nov 30, 2021
- Reaction score
- NE Wisconsin
Having been bitten by the wine making bug, I have converted my root cellar into a "wine cave". I ripped out some old decaying shelving (non treated lumber) and outfitted it with some new shelving including a 10-foot long shelf on the long wall for secondaries and three-high shelves in the back for wine bottles. I planned on using some plastic crates I found at Menards for bottle dividers... they hold 16 bottles each. I already have plans for a matching three-high shelving along the right side wall. I have been reading everything I can find online about wine cellars but most of the content references those fancy multi-zillion dollar climate controlled wine rooms. As you can see, mine is intended to be passive only... and not so pretty.
A few questions:
1. My cellar has a gravel floor with drainage underneath... I have never had standing water in the cellar. Would concrete be better?
2. I have not monitored the temperature closely but It stays below 65 degrees in the summer and just under 40 degrees in the winter. I know this is outside the published ideal range for wine storage but it's what I have. Right now the entrance faces west and the block is directly behind the stone retaining wall which is about three feet thick. I think I am losing/gaining a lot of heat through this wall and the poorly sealed door so the plan is to add 2" of insulation (r10) to the inside of that wall, increase the door insulation to 4", and weatherstrip the door. Hopefully that will decrease the annual temperature swing. being underground the temperature changes seasonally but there are no short-term fluctuations. Is this acceptable for bulk aging and bottle storage?
3. There is a 4" vent pipe through the roof at the rear of the cellar. Is this good or should I cap it?
Any other thoughts would be appreciated.
Also, I know it seems like a lot of work for eight bottles of wine, but I only made 10 gallons last year and a wedding and family reunion pretty much drank through that. I have 22 gallons brewing right now and plans for more in the spring, so come next summer I should start filling it up. If I don't give my wife the combination to the door, I might even start building an inventory .