Create Your Own Wine Cave

Creating your wine cave:

Designing your wine cave.
Your Distinctive Environments Representative works closely with you to create the cave of your dreams, suggesting creative ideas that incorporate the technology to properly care for your wine collection.  A personal wine cave combines your imagination with your passion for wine.  Let your imagination go wild, we’ll do the rest!

Deciding where to put your cave.
A wine cave is traditionally located underground or built into the side of a hill. We work with any type of available space to accommodate the best possible cave solution. With new technology, we can build a cave in your basement or even a spare room in the house.  An authentic replica cave is no longer limited to being subterranean.  Your Distinctive Environments representative can suggest the perfect location for you.

Entertaining in your cave.
The proper temperature and humidity are important to properly store your wine collection.  However, this environment may not be comfortable to hold a dinner party.  In the past, a host might take a few guests into the wine cellar to view their collection and choose a selection for dinner.  Today the trend is building separate rooms, one with controlled temperature and humidity levels for optimum preservation of the wine, and a second room that is designed for entertaining with separately controlled environment.  The wine storage area can be visible using decorative glass panels and glass paneled doors.

designed for entertaining where the environment can be controlled separately.  Typically the wine storage area will be visible via decorative glass panels and glass paneled doors.

Determining how large or small to build.
If you have a specific area that only offers a fixed amount of sq. ft. we will design your cave to work within those parameters.

If there is ample sq. footage to plan a cave that will fit your collecting and entertaining need best, several things will need to be considered to ultimately determine the size.

First you will want to determine the amount of wine you and your guests consume per year, keeping in mind that a red wine stored at the proper temperature will take approximately seven years to mature. For example; if you and your guests consume an average of 150 bottles per year, multiply that by seven years adding some room for longer term collectable bottles, you will want to plan for a storage capacity of at least 1200 bottles.  How many people do you want to entertain?  An area approximately 300 sq. ft. can store close to 1000 bottles of wine and allow ample room to seat 8 people for dinner comfortably.

Storing your collection.
The average bottle of wine is 750 ml, this will likely account for the majority of your collection.  A typical collection will have a percentage of varied size and shape bottles.  Wine is best stored on its side or tilted slightly forward.  This will keep the cork moist from the inside and the proper humidity controls will keep it moist from the outside.

There are many decorative racking styles available today.  You may want to consider display racks for some of your more interesting wines, decorative crates for your everyday wines and tiered racks for easier access.  Your Distinctive Environments representative will have lots of choices and ideas for your storage area.

Controlling temperature and humidity.
Probably the most important factor in caring for your collection is the consistency of the temperature and humidity.  If the temperature is kept to high the wine could mature too quickly.  If the temperature and humidity fluctuate too much the wine could be ruined. The proper humidity level will help keep the cork from drying out while too much humidity can create moisture related damage to the cork, label and wine itself.

Depending on the rate you wish to have the wine mature, the Temperature should be set somewhere between 53 & 65 degrees with the humidity level between 50 & 70 percent.

Fortunately there are numerous choices in environmental control systems that are specifically designed for wine cellars.

Lighting your cave.
Lighting can accent your cave and help create a comfortable atmosphere.  Light can also negatively affect your collection.  In your storage room it is best to use low voltage lighting that produces less heat and the rays will not be as detrimental to the wine.

In your entertaining area the lighting options are infinite though care in designing should be taken to keep lights rays from pointing directly into the storage area.  Tinted glass can also be used to help protect your collection.  You may want to consider a remote system to control your lights, waterfall and sound system.